Alternative fuels infrastructure directive will make a change towards cleaner, more efficient and sustainable transport in the EU

Date

2013 12 05

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Alternative fuels infrastructure directive will make a change towards cleaner, more efficient and sustainable transport in the EU
Alternative fuels infrastructure directive will make a change towards cleaner, more efficient and sustainable transport in the EU
“It is the first EU-wide legislation of this kind, setting the general framework for development of infrastructure for electric vehicles as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas (CNG) and hydrogen powered vehicles and vessels. Once adopted it will set basic requirements for development of the European transport infrastructure and will contribute to the functioning of European Single market,” said the Chair of the Council, Minister of Transport and Communications of Lithuania Rimantas Sinkevičius.
 
The main objective of the Directive is to increase the usage of alternative fuels and thereby to reduce the negative impact of transport on the environment. Common technical standards at the European level will enable interoperability of alternative fuels infrastructure.
 
Setting of common standards is important also for manufacturers as it will allow focusing investments, reducing the cost of manufacturing and ensure that users can use the alternative fuels infrastructure across the EU.
 
“In my opinion, the Council’s compromise will provide a clear, transparent and realistic signal to the market, as well as contribute to the increase of availability of alternative fuels and vehicles,” said R. Sinkevičius.
The Lithuanian Presidency also informed the Council about the results achieved during its term in the sector of railway transport and aviation.
 
The Council took note of the progress on the European Railway Agency (ERA). This Agency, in close collaboration with the national railway safety authorities, is expected to be issuing safety certificates and vehicles’ authorization in the EU.
 
In the field of aviation, the Council took stock of progress in updating of the EU rules on air passenger rights. During the Lithuanian Presidency the Member States have extensively discussed this legislative package and achieved good progress in establishing a common view on it.
 
The Council meeting authorized the European Commission to start negotiations with the Federal Republic of Brazil on a comprehensive air services agreement.
 
Suggested by the Danish delegation, the Council took up an item on aviation project funding. In the discussion it was highlighted that legislation prepared by different European Commission’s general Directorates is not beneficial for further development of this sector. For example, the regulation on trans-European network (TEN-T) states that the priority in the field of aviation should be given to the growth of airport capacity and performance. However the new state aid guideline project presented by the European Commission limits the investments in airport development even more whereas the newest EU structural support documentation concentrates investments in the environment. The ministers expressed concerns that this could restrict the further sustainable development of airports and their options for increasing global competitiveness.