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Vafeades underlines need to prevent side effects of green policies on shipping and ports

Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades spoke of the need to prevent the side effects of legislation to tackle climate change on the shipping sector and ports, during discussions in the Transport Council of the EU held in Luxembourg.

According to an announcement released by the PIO, the ministers approved the Council's general approach for opening negotiations with the European Parliament on the regulation on the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), on the directive on river information services for inland waterways, and on the regulation on the use of railway infrastructure capacity.

Cyprus, together with Greece, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Portugal, Romania and Spain presented a joint paper on "A call for action to ensure proper monitoring of the extension of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to maritime transport".

In his intervention on 18 June, Vafeades said that the the Commission, in close cooperation with Member States, needs to immediately take the necessary actions to prevent and address the consequences of the implementation of this legislation for European ports and the competitiveness of European shipping.

Regarding road safety, the Council adopted Conclusions on the European Court of Auditors' Special Report on the achievement of EU road safety objectives.

Vafeades welcomed the Conclusions and called for better coordination between Member States and an increase in the funding given to road safety actions.

Ministers were also briefed on progress in the negotiations on the amendment of the directive laying down for certain road vehicles the maximum authorised dimensions and maximum authorised weights, and on the amendment of the directive on common rules for certain types of combined transport of goods.

Negotiations on these pieces of legislation will continue under the next EU Council presidency, which will pass from Belgium to Hungary on July 1st.

On the sidelines of the Council and in preparation for the upcoming Cypriot Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2026, Vafeades met with his counterparts from Poland, Dariusz Klimczak, and Denmark, Jacob Heinsen, to coordinate the upcoming trio of Presidency (January 2025 - June 2026).

During the meeting, the Minister of Transport presented the preparations for the Cypriot Presidency in the fields of land transport, aviation and shipping. For Cyprus in particular, he stressed the priority of connectivity, as well as the development of airports and ports.

Vafeadis also had a bilateral meeting with the Hungarian Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Nándor Csepreghy, with whom he discussed the priorities of the upcoming Hungarian Presidency (second half of 2024).

During the discussion, the Minister presented Cyprus' priorities in the transport sector, highlighting the important role of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean. He also underlined that EU funding in the transport sector should be adapted to the needs and priorities of each member state.

Finally, the Minister met with the German Transport Minister Volker Wissing and signed the "Berlin Declaration", which calls on states to support and promote the production and use of e-fuels.

(Source: CNA)

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