€500 million loan granted for Y Vasca high-speed line in Spain

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a €500 million loan to Spanish rail company ADIF to finance the construction of the Y Vasca high-speed rail line. This is the first instalment of a total €1 billion EIB loan for the project. The loan will help to finance the construction of 140 km of rail line.

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Provisional agreement reached on single European railway area directive

The adoption of the draft directive establishing a single European railway area is closer following the agreement reached between the Council and the European Parliament negotiators. The compromise was endorsed on 19 of June by the within the Permanent  Representatives Committee. To enter into force, the text still needs to be formally approved by Parliament and the Council. The purpose of the draft directive is to increase competition, strengthen market supervision and improve conditions for investment in the Europe's railway sector.

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The Commission provided a clarification on cross-border use of longer trucks

The European Commission provided an interpretation of the Directive on weights and dimensions of road vehicles and the conditions to be met when adjacent Member States wish to authorise longer trucks to cross the border between them. The clarification has been sent to the European Parliament following questions asked by the International Road Transport Union.

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Transport Committee asks to guarantee transparent pricing by independent national rail regulators

MEPs at Transport Committee in the European Parliament approved a report on the “rail recast” reform plans asking for separate accounting for railway undertakings and rail network managers, non-discriminatory access to rail paths and service facilities and transparent pricing.

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MEPs believe that EU aviation policy must pay special attention to regional airports

The European Parliament approved a report which asks to national authorities to reorient EU aviation policy to pay special attention to the needs of regional airports. According to MEPs, boosting regional development and reduce congestion at major air hubs could be unlocked by integrating them in the Trans-European Transport Networks.

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The flights in Europe are expected to decline by 1.3% in 2012

According to Eurocontrol, the first three months of 2012 saw a total of 2.12 million flights in Europe. With these figures, the Eurocontrol forecast is the decrease of the European flights. On the other hand, MEPs also questioned in a debate the Commission's recent proposals to address increasing air traffic congestion around and in Europe's main airports.

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The Commission consults on the legal framework needed for the Internet of Things

The European Commission wants to ensure the respect of the rights of individuals, and also to unleash the potential economic and societal benefits of the "Internet of Things" (IoT). For this reason, it launched a public consultation to gather views on rules for wirelessly connected devices - the "Internet of Things".

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€160 million granted to projects under the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) programme

The European Commission announced the projects selected to receive grants with the aim at improving transport infrastructure across the EU. The 26 selected projects will use the EU's financial support to speed up the implementation of important priorities of the TEN-T Programme.

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The Council adopted its position on the long-term strategy for the development of the trans-European transport network

Following a discussion of the outstanding issues, the majority of the delegations at the Transport Council meeting, could accept the general approach on new guidelines defining a long-term strategy for the development of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T). In addition, the Council also stated its position on the draft regulation on a revision of the 1996 directive on groundhandling services at airports.

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The Council adopted a position on the single European railway area which modifies Commission's proposal

Member States agreed its first-reading position on the single European railway area directive. Whilst agreeing with the objective of the recast Commission's proposal, the Council considers a number of its provisions to be too far-reaching or not clear and simple enough. It therefore modified the key parts of the proposal, i. e. the conditions of access by railway undertakings to service facilities, the financing of railway infrastructures and charging for their use, and the functions of the regulatory body supervising the railway market.

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The European Economic and Social Committee asks for public and private financing for infrastructure projects

The opinion adopted by the European Economic and Social Committee on the Connecting Europe Facility put forward the idea of creating an energy super-network underpinned by decentralised smart networks with regard to fill the missing links in European energy, telecom and transport infrastructure.

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The Council discussed the regulatory aspects of the proposal on trans-European energy infrastructure

The Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council meeting discussed on the 14 of February two aspects of the Commission's proposal on the draft regulation on trans-European energy infrastructure: regional groups and regulatory measures. In addition, Ministers also held a debate on the main obstacles to the achievement of the Europe 2020 energy objectives.

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