TRAN discusses Weights and Dimensions, Statistics in IWW, NAIADES II, Deployment of alternative fuel infrastructure and Port Services Regulation
On 5 November, the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) of the European Parliament discussed the draft report on the revision of the Weights and Dimensions Directive.
The report prepared by MEP Jörg Leichtfried (S&D - Austria) focused on the safety aspects of the proposal. In particular, the draft report intends to ban the cross-border circulation of so-called megatrucks between two consenting Member States, as originally proposed by the European Commission. Moreover, it would also limit the facilitation of the use of 45 foot containers benefiting short sea shipping.
The safety improvements in the draft report were widely supported. However, the discussion among MEPs showed a clear division between supporters and adversaries of cross-border circulation. The Rapporteur would seek a widely supported compromise despite the divisions in the TRAN Committee.
The deadline for amendments is 5 December whereas the vote in the TRAN Committee is expected in February 2014.
Regulation on statistics of goods transport by inland waterways
On 14 November, the Rapporteur Eva Lichtenberger (Greens/EFA - Austria) presented the draft report on the review of the “Regulation on statistics of goods transport by inland waterways” to the TRAN Committee. She explained that the collection of statistical data is necessary to create a sound basis for future decisions regarding the inland waterway transport sector. For this reason, the report extends the Regulation’s scope to additional fields such as the transport of passengers, the modernisation of the fleet and inland waterway infrastructure.
MEPs largely agreed with the Rapporteur and stressed that the sector should not be overburdened by the increased data to be provided.
On 17 December, TRAN Committee will vote on the draft report while the plenary vote is expected in February 2014.
On 25 November, the Rapporteur MEP Wortmann-Kool (EPP – Netherlands) had an exchange of view with TRAN MEPs on the NAIADES II package. She welcomed the proposal of the Commission because it will create the necessary framework in order to make inland waterways a quality mode of transport. She stressed that the two technical reviews should be accompanied by a TRAN resolution to give political support to the Commission initiative. This will one of the main outcomes of a public hearing organised by the TRAN Committee at the beginning of January.
On 17 December, the Rapporteur will present the draft report on NAIADES II to the TRAN Committee. The deadline for amendments is 15 January whereas the TRAN Committee will vote the draft report on 20 February.
Regulation on port services
On 26 November, the TRAN Committee voted the Fidanza report on the Commission proposal for a Directive on the Deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure. The plenary vote of the Fidanza report is due to take place in February 2014. The Transport Committee gave a mandate to the Rapporteur to start negotiations with the Council with a view to reaching a final agreement in spring 2014.
On the same day, the Rapporteur, Knut Fleckenstein (S&D – Germany) presented the draft report on the Port Services Regulation to the Transport and Tourism (TRAN) Committee of the European Parliament. He proposed to adapt the provisions on the independent supervisory body and on transparency of charges. He defended the autonomy of ports in setting their own charges. These should not be longer be set by ministries. Moreover, he stressed the link with the upcoming state aid guidelines and the concession directive. His report aims at avoiding red tape and a one-size-fits-all approach.
Many MEPs expressed their satisfaction with Fleckenstein draft report even if there are still concerns regarding different aspects of the proposal. The deadline for amendments is 3 December 2013 whereas the vote in the TRAN committee is scheduled on 11 February 2014.