EU's transport council reaches agreements Dec. 12, including recast of first railway package, progress toward agreement on tachographs, minimum level of training for seafarers, and guidelines for development of Trans-European Transport Network

BRUSSELS , December 12, 2011 (press release) – The EU's Council of Transport ministers met today in Brussels under the Polish Presidency. The European Commission was represented by Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport and mobility. The main agreements reached during the Council included the recast of the first railway package, progress towards an agreement on tachographs, the minimum level of training for seafarers and the Guidelines for the development of the Trans-European Transport Network.

The Council reached a political agreement on the proposal to recast the first railway package. "This legislative proposal is a priority of the Commission not only because it will improve the functioning of the rail market but also because its adoption will pave the way to further initiatives announced in our White Paper last spring", said transport Commissioner Siim Kallas.

Referring to the Commission's proposal on recording equipment in road transport (known as the tachograph) Vice-President Kallas said: "A properly functioning tachograph system is of high importance. We need to modernise these rules to tackle fraudulent behaviour and strengthen road safety ".

Member Sates also agreed on aligning EU law with international rules by transposing into EU law the Manila amendments to the International Maritime Organization's Convention on Training and Certification of Seafarers. A fruitful discussion also took place on the the Commission's proposal for the new TEN-T guidelines. The new guidelines will help achieve more network benefits, to develop a strong instrument with concrete results and in general to achieve more with each euro spent.

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