A new portal brings access to information and data on the Trans-European Transport Network

The European Commission has launched a new web portal to display updated information about the state of the projects and development of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). The site includes satellite-based dynamic maps, as well as data, statistics and other interactive elements.

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The European Investment Bank takes part in a large solar energy project in North Africa

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted financial support to large complex to be built Ouarzazate in southern Morocco. This plant will produce about 160 MW of electricity per year in its first phase of operation and will quadruple this capacity when being at its full capacity.

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MEPs rejected the proposal to boost competition to supply ground-handling services at major EU airports

The Transport and Tourism Committee in the European Parliament rejected further liberalisation of ground-handling services as proposed in a draft legislation by the European Commission. Many MEPs feared that the proposal would lead to a deterioration of working conditions and safety and deplored the lack of evidence that the regulation would increase the overall efficiency of ground-handling operations.

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EU Ministers agreed on a general approach to tackle airport congestion by updating the rules on slots allocation

The Council reached a general approach on a new draft regulation that will in particular allow airlines to sell and buy slots. This new law is aimed to optimise the allocation system against the backdrop of growing airport congestion. In particular, the compromise reached at the Council meeting allows member states to apply temporary restrictions to slots trading in duly justified cases, but gives the Commission the right to oppose such a decision.

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European regions call for a credible budget for the Connecting Europe Facility

The president of the Committee of the Regions, Ramon Luis Valcarcel, expressed the Committee's support to the demands made by the Commission in regard to the need to increase the budget allocated to the European Union Connecting Europe Facility. It also stressed the key role of the Facility and the actions developed as drivers for growth.

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The flagship project to create a single European airspace is not delivering after more than 10 years

The European Commission confirms that the Single European Sky is "not delivering" after 10 years on. However, the Commission also announced its intention to present new legislative proposals in Spring 2013 to accelerate implementation, as well as taking all enforcement actions possible, including infringements where necessary. According to the Commission, inefficiencies caused by Europe's fragmented airspace bring extra costs of close to €5 billion each year.

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Business leaders and policy-makers strongly support the Connecting Europe Facility as proposed by the European Commission

During a high-level conference in Brussels, speakers and participants appreciated the innovative character and important added value that the Connecting Europe Facility would provide. According to the European Commission, with up to €50 billion the Connecting Europe Facility could become a key instrument for targeted infrastructure investment at European level to ensure the smooth functioning of the Single Market and boost sustainable growth, jobs and competitiveness across the European Union.

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Industry Committee agreed on the need for more efforts to modernise and expand Europe's energy infrastructure

MEPs decided to amend the draft legislation designed to accelerate work on developing and co-ordinating energy infrastructure projects. The ITRE Committee in the European Parliament amended governance rules for the regional expert groups to increase their transparency, and defined more clearly which commercially non-viable projects should be entitled to EU funding from the Connecting Europe Facility.

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The pilot phase of the EU project bonds initiative launched by the Council

The 2012-2013 pilot phase of the EU project bonds initiative which is aimed at mobilising up to €4.5 billion in private sector for financing key strategic infrastructure projects has been launched by adopting for the the Council a regulation. In addition, the Council has given to Spain an extra year to correct its deficit, i.e. until 2014.

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€230 million in guarantees to back the private issuance of "project bonds" for infrastructure projects in the EU

MEPs approved a plan that has as main objective to attract private investment in transport, energy and information technology network projects. The scheme, that will be managed by the European Investment Bank (EIB), will allocate €230 million in guarantees to back the private issuance of "project bonds".

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MEPs give green light to the rules aimed to clarify competition rules for rail transport

The European Parliament approved a new rule which was previously agreed with the Council which aims to stimulate the supply of international freight and passenger services and to improve their quality. In addition, the new rules have as objective to clarify competition rules for rail transport firms and rail infrastructure managers. Once the new directive has been approved by the Council of Ministers, it will enter into force on the day after its publication.

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New High Level Group launched on Transport and Logistics in the EU

European Commission presented the High Level Group on Logistics (HLGL) which has been set up to provide strategic advice on the future transport policy measures with impact on logistics. At its first meeting, the discussion focused on the main bottlenecks that hinder freight logistics and transport.

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