Transport ministers discuss EU climate package proposals
The EU Transport and Telecommunications Council will convene on 2-3 June 2022 in Luxembourg. In the meeting, Finland will be represented by Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.
The Transport Council is expected to adopt a general approach on three legislative proposals included in the EU's Fit for 55 package. The EU aims at reducing its emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030 compared to the level of 1990, which is to be achieved with the help of the Fit for 55 package.
"Finland has worked hard to ensure that the proposals of the package regarding transport take our country's national characteristics into account and leave enough room for national flexibility. In the negotiations, we have succeeded in taking several Commission proposals in the direction desired by Finland," Minister Harakka says.
The Council is expected to adopt a general approach on the so-called FuelEU Maritime regulation. It's aim is to increase the use of renewable and low-carbon fuels in maritime transport. Finland has actively stressed the importance of taking the competitiveness in maritime transport and the special circumstances of winter navigation into account in the regulation.
"Since the majority of Finland's foreign trade volumes are transported by sea, we have paid special attention to ensuring that the costs of winter navigation be taken into account. Long-term work on a broad front is delivering results," Harakka says.
The Council will aim to adopt a general approach on the proposal for alternative fuels infrastructure regulation. The so-called AFIR Regulation sets requirements for recharging and refuelling stations as of 2025.
"We are currently planning how to place the large recharging and refuelling investments. The standardised distances proposed by the European Commission were not suitable for us as such. A large, sparsely populated country with low traffic volumes needs flexibility, and Finland has managed to negotiate them in line with the proposal," Harakka says.
In aviation, efforts will be made to increase the use of renewable aviation fuels through the so-called ReFuel EU Aviation Regulation. The Council is to adopt a general approach on this Regulation. It is important for Finland that the operating conditions of air transport and the accessibility of the Member States are taken into account.
A general approach will be sought to some of the transport initiatives in the Fit for 55 package in the Environment Council on 28 June 2022.
The Transport Council will also take note of the Presidency's progress report and hold a policy debate on a proposal for a new regulation on Union guidelines for the development of a trans-European TEN-T transport network. Finland considers it important that the regulation allow the Member States sufficient room for manoeuvre in the national implementation of the regulation. At the meeting, Finland will highlight the importance of ports for Finland.
The Transport Council is also to adopt a general approach on the revision of the ITS Directive on the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems in road transport. Finland considers it important that the significance of technology-neutral regulation be emphasised more strongly in the Directive.
EU ministers will seek agreement for a general approach on a proposal for Directive amendments regarding stability requirements for roll-on/roll-off passenger ships. It lays down the stability requirements for damaged ro-ro passenger ships.
Telecommunications ministers discuss the digital and green transition
The Telecommunications Council is to take note of the state of play on the Presidency's progress reports on the Artificial Intelligence Act, Data Act and the amendment of the eIDAS Regulation with regard to the strengthening of the European digital identity framework.
In addition, the Council will hold a policy debate on the digital and green transition. It is Finland's view that the discussion on synergies between the digital and green transitions is welcome. It supports the objective of making the ICT sector's own energy and resource consumption sustainable in terms of the environment and climate.
Noora Saarinen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 50 562 7044, [email protected] (Transport Council)
Kaisa Kopra, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 50 441 8005, [email protected] (Telecommunications Council)