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Work Programme of the European Commission for 2015

Screening of port-related issues

On 16 December, the European Commission adopted its Work Programme for 2015 – setting out the actions the Commission intends to take over the next 12 months to make a difference for jobs, growth and investment and bring concrete benefits for citizens. It does not detail what the Commission will do in the following four years of its mandate even if preparatory work will start on issues like the mid-term review of the multi-annual financial framework. The Annexes of Work Programme 2015 include new initiatives, withdrawn or modified proposals and REFIT Actions. The Commission Work Programme 2015 is available here: http://ec.europa.eu/atwork/pdf/cwp_2015_en.pdf

Annex I: New initiatives

Annex I sets out the new initiatives, organised around the main priorities of the Political Guidelines, where the Commission will concentrate its efforts in 2015. The full list of new initiatives is available here: http://ec.europa.eu/atwork/pdf/cwp_2015_new_initiatives_en.pdf

Please find below a list of new initiatives that will have direct or indirect impact on the port sector:

Title

Description of scope and objectives

The Investment Plan for Europe (Juncker Plan): Legislative Follow-up

 

The follow-up actions include setting up of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), promoting cooperation with National Promotional Banks and improving access to finance for SMEs. For more information, please consult C-1890 and C-1893.

 

Strategic Framework for the Energy Union

 

The Strategy Framework for the Energy Union will focus on: energy supply security; integration of national energy markets; reduction in European energy demand; decarbonising the energy mix and promoting research and innovation in the energy field. It will include the revision of the EU Emissions Trading System as part of the legislative framework post-2020.

Communication on a renewed approach for corporate taxation in the Single Market in the light of global developments

 

The Communication will aim at stabilising corporate tax bases in the EU for a fair taxation environment, including relaunching work towards a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base.

 

Annex II: List of withdrawals or modifications of pending proposals

Annex II sets out the proposals to be withdrawn (or modified). In some cases, the Commission is proposing to withdraw proposals in order to replace them subsequently by more ambitious proposals or to tailor them more closely to its ten priorities. In other cases, society has moved on since the original Commission proposal was made.The full list of withdrawals or modifications of pending proposals is available here: http://ec.europa.eu/atwork/pdf/cwp_2015_withdrawals_en.pdf

Please find below a list of withdrawals or modifications of pending proposals related to the port sector:

Title

Description of scope and objectives

Proposal for a Council Directive amending Directive 2003/96/EC restructuring the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity

This proposal was amongst other containing a proposal for exempting shore side electricity from taxation. According to the Commission, Council negotiations have resulted in a draft compromise text that has fully denatured the substance of the Commission proposal. Moreover there is no agreement in Council even on the draft compromise.

Proposal for a Council Decision establishing the position to be taken in HELCOM and IMO concerning the designation on the Baltic Sea as Nitrogen Oxyde Emissions Control Area (NECA)

 

According to the proposal for a Council Decision, the position to be taken by the European Union in HELCOM (Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission - Helsinki Commission) was to support the designation of the Baltic Sea as an Emission Control Area for Nitrogen Oxide (NECA). The proposal has been withdrawn because no agreement was reached.

Proposal for a Directive on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants and amending Directive 2003/35/EC (NEC part of the Clean Air Policy Package)

 

This proposal (part of the Clean Air Policy Package) will be modified as part of the legislative follow-up to the approval of the 2030 Energy and Climate Package. This proposal was introducing stricter national emission ceilings for different pollutants and can have an impact on the industrial activities in EU ports.

Proposal for a Council decision on the signing of the Amending Protocol to the Convention regarding the Regime of Navigation on the Danube of 18 August 1948 (Belgrade Convention)

The main purpose of the revised Belgrade Convention is to modernise the Danube Commission by strengthening its regulatory and operational capacities, the ultimate objective being the promotion of inland waterway transport on the Danube, the potential of which is not sufficiently used. The proposal has been withdrawn because no agreement was reached.

 

Proposal for a Regulation establishing rules on the access of third country goods and services to the European Union's internal market in public procurement

 

The key objective of this initiative is to improve the conditions under which EU businesses can compete for public contracts in third countries. The Port Communication of 2013 (“Ports as engines for growth”) referred to this proposal. The De Gucht proposal foresees the principle of mutual recognition in public procurement to facilitate the negotiation of reciprocal access to non- EU markets for EU based global players. Proposal to be amended in line with the priorities of the new Commission in order to simplify the procedures, shortening timelines of investigations and reducing the number of actors in implementation.

 

Proposal for a Regulation on the establishment of a fund for the compensation of oil pollution damage in European waters and related measures

 

The objective of this proposal from the Commission is to set up a supplementary fund covering liability and compensation for pollution damage caused by oil tankers, designated COPE (Compensation for Oil Pollution in European waters fund), to pay compensation to the victims of oil spills in European waters. According to the Commission, the withdrawal is necessary as the impact assessment and relevant analysis are now out of date.

Proposal for a Regulation on groundhandling services at Union airports and repealing Council Directive 96/67/EC

 

The general objective of the Regulation was to enhance the efficiency and overall quality of groundhandling services for users (airlines) and end-users (passengers and freight forwarders) at EU airports. This was mainly pursued through the liberalisation of groundhandling services at Union airports. The proposal has been withdrawn because no agreement was reached.

Even if not related to the port sector, the proposal is aiming at regulating airport services and serves thus a similar aim as the Port Regulation proposal which has not been withdrawn.

 

 

Annex III – REFIT Actions

The Work Programme also reflects the Commission's commitment to Better Regulation. This is at the heart of the Commission's Regulatory Fitness Programme (REFIT) which seeks to cut red tape and remove regulatory burdens. Its actions – legislative amendment, fitness checks and evaluations – form a core element of Commission work and are outlined in Annex III.

The full list of REFIT actions is available here: http://ec.europa.eu/atwork/pdf/cwp_2015_refit_actions_en.pdf

Please find below a list of REFIT actions related to the port sector:

Title

Description of scope and objectives

Natura 2000 (Birds and Habitats Directives)

The REFIT Action is related to 1) Directive 2009/147/EEC on the conservation of wild birds; and 2) Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora. The REFIT exercise is still ongoing, and it is due in 2016.

 

Environmental Liability

 

Evaluation of Directive 2004/35/EC on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage (ELD). According to the Directive, the Commission shall report on the experience gained in its application to the European Parliament and the Council. Results are expected in 2015.

 

Environmental Noise

Evaluation of Directive 2002/49/EC relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise., the Directive provides for a regular five yearly report by the Commission containing an assessment of the implementation of the Directive, a summary of maps and action plans reported and an assessment of the need for further Community action. The REFIT Action is ongoing and due in 2016.

 

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive

Evaluation of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive (Directive 2001/42/EC). According to the Directive the Commission shall, starting in 2006, report on its application and effectiveness at seven-year intervals. The second implementation report scheduled for 2016 will evaluate the application and effectiveness of the Directive across the EU and assess potential for simplification and may lead to a REFIT evaluation. The REFIT exercise is expected to start in 2015 and due to end in 2016.

 

Combined transport

Evaluation of Directive 92/106/EEC of 7 December 1992 on the establishment of common rules for certain types of combined transport of goods between Member States. The Directive introduced incentives for combined transport operations, mostly by way of derogation to limits and obligations imposed by other pieces of legislation (cabotage, weights and dimensions).

Port reception facilities

Evaluation of Directive 2000/59/EC on port reception facilities. The objective of the evaluation is a comprehensive overview of the functioning of the Directive and an assessment of effectiveness and efficiency. The evaluation should point out problem areas, which could be addressed in a possible review of the Directive to improve and simplify the legislative framework and reduce regulatory costs. Results are expected in 2015.

 

 

 

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