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Formal Meeting of Transport Ministers

Publication date: 12 June 2009

On 11 June 2009, in the framework of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council, Luxembourg hosted the second formal meeting of Transport Ministers during the Czech Presidency. The meeting was chaired by Czech Minister of Transport Gustáv Slamečka.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Ministers spoke about an accident which deeply affected everybody – the crash of the Airbus jet of Air France Flight 447. The Czech Presidency proposed to observe a minute of silence by which all participants jointly paid condolences to the families of the victims of this tragedy.

The Czech Presidency marked a success by reaching political agreement on the Regulation concerning a European rail network for competitive freight.

The proposal sets rules for creation and organisation of freight corridors and specifies their management and governance, investment planning and management of traffic and capacities. The aim is to facilitate the transfer of freight from roads to railroads.

“We succeeded in ensuring that the development of corridors for freight does not have any negative impact on personal transport,” noted Gustáv Slamečka. The creation of the corridors will significantly lower direct as well as indirect costs related to railway transport, and it will decrease administrative burden for freight operators. Transport of goods will also be significantly expedited.

The negotiations of the proposal on the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport are only in beginning stages, and work on this proposal will continue during the Swedish Presidency. It aims to ensure similar rights for passengers in bus transport as are enjoyed by passengers in air and railway transport. This concerns particularly responsibility in case of death or injury of passengers, loss or damage of their baggage and rules concerning handicapped persons.

During lunch the Ministers discussed further development of Trans-European Network for Transport (TEN-T). It is crucial that junctions such as airports, ports, terminals of combined and intermodal transport - including public logistic centres - become a part of the continuously developing infrastructure.

Source: Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union

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