Tiefensee’s positive mid-term review

Berlin, Germany – Reviewing the first three months of the German EU Council Presidency, the Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs, Wolfgang Tiefensee, sounded a positive note: "At the halfway stage of our Presidency, we can be proud of what we have achieved. The Transport Council in Brussels was successful. We made significant progress on many issues", said Mr Tiefensee in Berlin 2007-04-03.

He said that the transport sector was facing up to its challenges in the field of climate change and that it had addressed the issue intensively on 22 March 2007 under the German Council Presidency. "At the next Transport Council in June, we want to adopt conclusions for a climate change strategy for transport", said Mr Tiefensee.

The first EU Transport Council under the German Presidency had a successful outcome. Member States reached agreement on a way to ensure a speedy continuation of the Galileo project. In addition, the results of the negotiations on the EU-US air services agreement were unanimously adopted, and the internal equalization mechanism, which is one of the issues in the Siberian overflight problems, was also brought to a successful conclusion.

"With our discussion on emissions from aviation, we have moved one step closer to finding a uniform basic position for the discussion, which is expected to be heated, at the assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal this autumn. We will continue the discussion at the June Council, and my aim is that we should then reach agreement on our position for the negotiations at the ICAO Council", said the incumbent Council President.

He went on to say: "We have achieved a lot, but there is still a lot of work ahead of us".

As examples, he mentioned the Third Railway Package and the issue of road safety. "At the beginning of our Council Presidency, we tackled another major issue in the rail sector that is of great importance to all those concerned: the cross-acceptance of rolling stock. The EU-wide recognition of rolling stock certification will save a lot of time and money. We will step up our commitment as Council President even further to ensure that we can reach agreement on this basis, which can then be confirmed by the Council in June. In the field of road safety, we want to attempt to make an active contribution to the goal of halving the number of road fatalities in the EU by 2010. An important measure on the road towards this objective is the proposal submitted by the Commission for a directive on the retrofitting of mirrors to heavy goods vehicles, in order to solve the "blind spot" problem. It is now crucial that the directive be adopted and enter into force as soon as possible."