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Informal Transport Council - Rome, 12-13 April 1996

EU Ministers responsible for transport policy met in an informal Council meeting held in Rome, Italy, on 12-13 April 1996. The Council discussion was focused around four broad themes suggested by the Italian presidency:

- The network of common infrastructures and the role of ...
EU Ministers responsible for transport policy met in an informal Council meeting held in Rome, Italy, on 12-13 April 1996. The Council discussion was focused around four broad themes suggested by the Italian presidency:

- The network of common infrastructures and the role of the Community (trans-European networks);
- Transferring transport from road to rail;
- Transport and the environment;
- Harmonizing conditions of transport activity.

With regard to the trans-European transport network, the Council stressed the importance of reaching agreement quickly on the proposed guidelines in this area which will form the legal basis for Union action. This matter will be discussed in conciliation committee on 24 April 1996 and it is hoped that a final decision may be reached within six weeks.

The Transport Ministers supported the Commission's request for an ECU 1.7 billion "top-up" to the existing TENs line in the Community budget. On the longer term problem of how to attract the necessary private financing for TENs, the Council accepted a Commission proposal to create a working group. The group would bring together high-level politicians, technicians, administrators and financial experts to try and overcome legal, bureaucratic, technical and financial obstacles on a project-by-project basis. This approach should give impetus to those TENs projects that are progressing less speedily.

The most substantive debate was generated by the issue of how to transfer traffic from road to rail. In this context, the Commission announced its intention to produce, in July 1996, a White Paper outlining a new strategy for railway development. The Council could then discuss the proposals in the autumn, with a view to publishing a comprehensive action plan by the end of 1996/early 1997. The Commission's proposal was welcomed by the Council.
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Transport
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