The issue of fair competition between EU and third-country airlines and the importance of guaranteeing a level playing field has been recognised for some years by the various EU institutions as key for the future of European aviation. The 2015 Commission communication on the aviation strategy underlined the importance and legitimacy of EU action to deal with possible unfair commercial practices in international aviation, and announced the revision of existing rules in this field. On 8 June 2017, the Commission adopted a legislative proposal for a regulation on safeguarding competition in air transport, repealing Regulation 868/2004 as part of the ‘Open and Connected Aviation’ package delivering part of the aviation strategy. The objective of the proposal is to provide effective legislation in order ‘to maintain conditions conducive to a high level of Union connectivity and to ensure fair competition with third countries air carriers’. Parliament and Council reached agreement on the proposal in trilogue in November 2018, and this text now needs to be formally adopted.
Unpaid road tolls could soon be history, as the EU is setting up a new information-sharing system to enable member states’ national authorities to access each other’s national vehicle registration data in order to identify owners of vehicles for which road fees have not been paid. The new system is part of the updated electronic road tolling rules formally adopted by the Council today, following a provisional deal reached with the European Parliament on 20 November 2018.
Since the 1990s, digitalisation has been advancing at speed across all industrial sectors, public entities and society at large; and railways are no exception. Digital technologies already govern rail customers’ expectations, ticket reservation and purchasing habits, operators’ information and payments systems, but experts believe these technologies have much more to offer the sector. Digitalisation is key to industry competitiveness and has therefore become an EU priority.
Safety features such as intelligent speed assistance, advanced emergency-braking system and emergency stop signal will have to be installed in new vehicles.
Question for written answer to the Commission (Rule 130) by Wim van de Camp (PPE) on “Hefty fines payable by Dutch road hauliers in Belgium for ‘evading’ tolls”.