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Transport Council, 11Th March

Volume 570: debated on Thursday 28 March 1996

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asked Her Majesty's Government:What was the result of the Transport Council held in Brussels on 11th March.

The Transport Council met in Brussels on 11 March. I represented the United Kingdom.The Council reached a common position on a directive to harmonise roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers.The Council also reached a common position on three separate directives concerning market liberalisation, state aid rules and a vessel scrapping scheme in the inland waterways sector. The United Kingdom voted against the scrapping scheme because of our opposition in principle to Community funding for such schemes. The two other proposals were agreed without a vote.The Council discussed the Commission proposal for a mandate to negotiate an air transport agreement between the European Community and the United States. The United Kingdom made clear its view that the Commission had not demonstrated that this would add value to the present bilateral arrangements. However a majority of Member States were in favour of the principle of limited Community-level negotiations and the proposal was referred back to the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) for further work.The Council also discussed the European Parliament's second reading opinion on the proposed Council/EP Decision on a trans-European transport network. It was agreed that the Presidency should work to reach agreement with the Parliament on a compromise text as soon as possible.The Commission gave a progress report to the Council on the state of play in the negotiations between the European Community and Switzerland in respect of land and air transport agreements.Following a general discussion, the Presidency concluded that a regulation concerning the collection of aviation statistics should be reconsidered at the next Transport Council to allow time for further consideration of a number of outstanding issues, including the application of the regulation to Gibraltar.

Other issues raised at the Council included Commission Green Papers on the citizens' network and external costs in transport and a Commission White Paper on air traffic management. There was also an intervention by the German delegation on air traffic safety and a French intervention on ferry safety.