Portuguese Presidency addresses TRAN Committee
27 January 2021: In an address to the European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) on 26 January, the Portuguese Presidency has given more detail on its plans to re-establish tourism in Europe and rejuvenate the aviation sector, including its aims for the Single European Sky, EU Slots Regulation, air passenger rights and alternative fuels.
Pedro Nuno Santos, Portuguese Minister for Infrastructure and Housing, outlined that the Presidency wanted to assist all modes of transport and ensure an adequate level of mobility for goods and citizens.
He said the Presidency would focus on three proposals: the Strategy for Smart Mobility and specifically the 90 per cent reduction of greenhouse gases by 2050. Secondly, the Single European Sky (SES). Despite disagreements between member states, he expected guidelines to be adopted on the SES by the end of the Presidency. Thirdly, the Presidency would work on the Eurovignette with the first trilogue taking place on the 29 January.
Nuno Santos said negotiations were underway on the EU Slots Regulation. He turned to the air passenger rights blockage and outlined that Portugal would work hard to bring this negotiation to its conclusions. He added that the Presidency would look at the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and promote an approach similar to that of the European Parliament and develop a common position. Read more here .
Portugal began its Presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 January, taking over the Presidency from Germany, and has published its work programme. Within in, the Presidency states “We will prioritise initiatives that help passengers, workers and businesses in the sector to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and that help to restore the movement of goods, services and persons. We will seek to ensure that recovery support measures also contribute to the modernisation and sustainability of the sector.” Of relevance to aviation, there are specific commitments to follow up on Single European Sky and passenger protection legislation as well as other measures needed to bring stability to the sector following COVID-19. The full work programme can be viewed here: https://www.2021portugal.eu/media/e0rjnvdj/programme-for-the-portuguese-presidency-of-the-council-of-the-european-union_en.pdf