Brussels Daily
12 Feb 2019


Brussels Daily

COLLEGE MEETING: Brexit Preparedness: European Commission adopts “no-deal” contingency measure for railway safety and connectivity

Given the increasing risk that the United Kingdom may leave the European Union on 30 March this year without a deal (a “no-deal” scenario), the European Commission has today adopted a proposal to help mitigate the significant impact that such a scenario would have on rail transport and connectivity between the EU and the UK. Today’s proposal will ensure the validity of safety authorisations for certain parts of rail infrastructure for a strictly limited period of three months to allow long-term solutions in line with EU law to be put in place. This is, in particular, related to the Channel Tunnel and will be conditional on the United Kingdom maintaining safety standards identical to EU requirements. This will ensure the protection of rail-passengers, the safety of citizens and will avoid major disruptions of cross-border rail operations after the UK’s withdrawal. In addition to this proposal, it is also essential that the concerned undertakings and national authorities continue to take all necessary measures to comply with EU rules on train driver licences, market access, as well as safety certificates and authorisations required to operate in the EU.Today’s proposal follows the calls by the European Council (Article 50) in November and December 2018 to intensify preparedness work at all levels, and the adoption on 19 December 2018 of the Commission’s Contingency Action Plan. The proposal is temporary in nature, limited in scope and will be adopted unilaterally by the EU. A press release is available online. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Daniela Stoycheva – Tel.: +32 229 53664)


rescEU: Commission welcomes European Parliament’s positive plenary vote 

The European Parliament has today voted overwhelmingly to adopt rescEU, an initiative of the Commission to strengthen European capacities to respond to natural disasters like forest fires, floods, earthquakes and other crises. Welcoming the vote, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said: “This vote in the European Parliament paves the way for a stronger European civil protection response system. With rescEU, no country hit by a disaster will stand alone. rescEU makes EU solidarity more tangible and more effective. Our citizens must know that Europe is here to protect and save lives and livelihoods. I thank the European Parliament for its strong support. We are now a step closer to making rescEU a reality. For the good of all Europeans.”  Today’s vote endorses the initial political agreement reached in December 2018 between the Parliament and Council. Following today’s European Parliament Plenary vote, the final step is due to be adoption by the Council of the European Union in March. rescEU would then be due to enter force towards the end of March. (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi –Tel.: +32 229 69140)

Europe leads the global clean energy transition: latest Eurostat data confirm that the EU is on track to meet its 2020 Renewable energy target

When Jean-Claude Juncker became President of the European Commission he vowed to make the bloc a global leader in renewable energy. Achieving 20% of energy from renewable sources in 2020 is one of the headline targets of the Europe 2020 strategy. An increasing share of renewable energy is not only necessary to decarbonise our economy and to improve our energy security, it is also ensuring the EU’s position at the forefront of the development of technologies of the future and creating growth and jobs. The EU has been a leading voice in international climate negotiations for years and was once again instrumental in reaching an agreement on the “Paris Rulebook” at the COP24 in Katowice. But fighting climate change is not only about brokering international deals, it is also about delivering at home. EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said: “The EU is on track to meet its 2020 renewable target, with eleven Member States already above their national targets. And as Europe heads to become the world’s first major economy to go climate neutral by 2050, we will need to step up our efforts. In a climate-neutral Europe, power generation should be fully decarbonised by 2050, more than 80% of the EU’s electricity will be produced by renewable energy sources. To get there, the momentum created by renewables for competitiveness, growth and jobs in Europe must continue.” The Juncker Commission recently finalised negotiations of the Clean Energy for All European package, setting ambitious targets for 2030. However, setting new targets is only credible if we deliver on our current objectives. Today’s Eurostat report shows that the EU is on track for reaching its renewable energy target for 2020. In 2017, the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy in the EU, reached 17.5%, up from 17.0% in 2016 and more than double the share as in 2004 (8.5), the first year for which the data are available. The Commission is delivering on its priority to put in place a fully integrated Energy Union with a forward-looking climate policy by leading abroad and fulfilling its commitments at home.(For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186; Lynn Rietdorf – Tel.: +32 229 74959)

Read the European Commission – Daily News in full here

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