Welcome to our new EU Transport Policy Newsletter!
September Battles Ahead
The European Parliament and European Commission are set to return from Summer Recces with a whole stack of new regulations and directives to agree before the European Commission end their term in October 2019. September is therefore likely to be a hectic month of negotiations within the European Parliament’s transport (TRAN) and environment (ENVI) committees. Below we look at a few of the battles which lie ahead in September, as well as presenting the other reports which will be debated in Committee this month.
Battle One: He ain’t heavy, he’s my trailer
Parliament Vs Commission HGV Regulation
Emission reduction targets: 40% or 25% reduction? 2025 targets or 2030?
The TRAN and ENVI Committees are due to commence scrutinising the Commission’s HGV proposal. This proposal, for the first time, introduces emission standards for HGVs (like those already in place for LGVs). The European Parliament will now begin the process of amending the Commission proposal and the targets set. Early indications are that the Parliament believe the Commission have not been ambitious enough in their targets for emission reductions between now and 2030. They also believe that more ambitious targets need to be put in place for aerodynamic efficiencies.
The initial Draft Report by Bas Eickhout MEP (Green,BL) was rather brief; however, rather like his recent Low-Emissions Mobility Report, we can expect a large number of amendments placed during the Committee hearing stage in September. Bas Eickhout’s initial Draft Report seeks to establish the Paris Agreement as the basis for any HGV targets, which in turn requires (according to the report) a reduction of at least a 55% domestic reduction in economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. This is in contrast to the initial Commission proposal of a 40% reduction – which the Commission say is also in line with the Paris Agreement commitments. There is also a fierce battle ahead over whether there needs to be a binding 2025 reductions target. Early indications are that the Parliament will seek to have such a target in place, whilst the Commission will continue to resist such calls.
It seems unlikely that the European Parliament will be willing to except a 40% target for 2030 as adequately fulfilling the Paris Agreement. They will therefore likely call for the Commission to increase their target to, at least, 45/50%. Furthermore, the Parliament seem strong willed in their attempts to ensure there is a target for emissions reductions set at both 2025 and 2030. The Commission proposal envisages a single target for 2030, again, it seems unlikely the Parliament will back down on this issue – especially given how the HGV manufacturers are viewed within the Parliament at this current time. Expect a fiery debate in the TRAN and ENVI Committees this month as the Parliament finalise their position on these topics.
Battle Two: Volts-Wagon?
Alternative Fuel Regulations – will the 2014 Directive be reviewed? Will mandatory targets for Member States introduced?
Shifting to alternative fuels and alternative powertrains is a direct method of decarbonisation. However, fuels need specific infrastructure and legislation is needed to foster its uptake, according to the European Parliament. The nature of this legislation is at the heart of the current debate within the European Parliament.
The background to the current debate centers around the current 2014 Directive on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure. Binding targets, which were initially envisaged in the drafting of the directive, were removed and replaced with National Framework Plans (NFPs). These NFPs were designed to ensure each member state put forward plans for the uptake of alternative fuels. However, recent evaluations of the effectiveness of these NFPs showed, that the ambition and effort differs widely between Member States.
As a consequence, the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure is far from hitting the EU targets. It was initially envisaged that roughly 800,000 charging points would be in place by 2025; however, current figures suggest that there are roughly 100,000 (according to Parliament) to 200,000 (according to Commission) currently in place.
The European Parliament is therefore calling on the Commission to replace NFPs with mandatory objectives such as those put forward the 2013 proposal (which later became the 2014 directive), as well as bringing forward a revision of the 2014 Directive on alternative fuels.
It should be noted, that this report is an Own Initiative Report (INI), which is effectively a non-legislative report which sets out the Parliament’s position on a given topic. It remains to be seen whether the Commission will act upon this INI Report, after its finalisation this month, and bring forward plans to revise the current directive. Perhaps MEPs will seek assurances from the Commission this month during their exchange of views in committee?
Battle Three: Fly away on my CEFer
Establishing the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)
How big will the budget be?
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a key EU funding instrument developed specifically to direct investment into European transport, energy and digital infrastructures to address identified missing links and bottlenecks.
Under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a funding framework to support key EU investments in transport (Trans-European Transport Networks, TEN-T), energy (Trans-European Energy Networks. TEN-E) and Broadband and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
The Parliament are currently scrutinising the Commission proposal for the budget and framework for the CEF for the period of 2021-2027. Whilst there is much agreement between the Parliament and Commission there is still a tough negotiations to be had over the overall budget. The Commission have proposed a budget for the CEF as a whole is EUR 42.265 billion in current prices for the period 2021-2027, which the Parliament say is inadequate and is a reduction on the current period for 2014-2020.
Whilst there are several other points of departure between the Commission and Parliament on this important report, including the oversight of projects and explicit horizontal objectives, expect most of the negotiations to center around broad funding figures. One to watch over the coming months.
September Committee Agendas
European Parliament TRAN Committee
September will be a busy month ahead for the committee. With Agendas now finalised, some of the highlights to look forward to include:
- Establishing the Connecting Europe Facility (Draft Report)
- Establishing a European Labour Authority (Draft Report)
- Military Mobility (Draft Opinion)
- CO2 emission performance standards for new heavy-duty vehicles (Draft Opinion)
- Establishing the space programme of the Union and the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (Draft Opinion)
Aside from the legislative work, there will also be an intriguing exchange of views with Director General of DG MOVE, Mr Hololei. There will also be a presentation by the Commission of Delegated act on specifications for Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems.
The Chelgate team will be on the ground attending the TRAN and ENVI Committee hearings. If you require in depth analysis and engagement advice on any of the legislative files being scrutinised in September, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The S&D Group have picked up two new reports over Summer. Expect the other groups to be saving their points for some important reports to be announced over the coming weeks.
- S&D Group have been awarded rapporteurship of the Amending Regulation (EU) No 168/2013 as regards the application of the Euro 5 step to the type-approval of two-or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles-COM(2018)0137
- S&D Group have been awarded rapporteurship of the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services-COM(2018)0238
Thursday, 6 September, 09h00-12h30
Thursday, 6 September, 15h00-18h30
Monday 24, September, 15h00-18h30
Wednesday 29 August, 15.00-18.30
Thursday 30 August, 09.00-12.30
With the Summer Recess in full swing, there was little action taking place during August. However, there was plenty of information emanating from the EU scientists, particularity the Joint Research Council (JRC).
Prior to the summer recess, the Austrian Presidency of the EU Council laid out their priorities for their six-month presidency in the field of transport. Expect movement on the following legislative fields under the Austrians:
- Mobility Package
- Connecting Europe Facility
- Rail Passenger Rights
EU Commission Public Consultations/ Call for Tenders
The European Commission regularly open public consultations in order to receive feedback on policy p[corporals or to gauge the need for legislative action in a given area. These consultations are easy to respond to and enable companies to ensure their thoughts are brought to the attention of the EU Commission at an early state.
- Traffic distribution rules for Schiphol airport and Lelystad AirportPublic
- Consultation on drones (unmanned aircraft) – technical standards for drones as a product and conditions for drone operations
- Public consultation on summertime arrangements
- Public Consultation on Charges for the Use of Airport Infrastructure
- Strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions reductions
- Public Consultation on the evaluation of the Ozone Regulation
If you would like more information about any of the above matters please contact Chris Morris.