Whilst attending the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy (TTE) Council in Brussels, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg said that Malta will continue to resist any protectionist measures which may result in additional expenses for the transport sector, which in turn may result in higher expenses for operators. Minister Borg welcomed objectives to improve the operations of the transport market and to simplify associated procedures. Additionally, he recognised the importance of the haulage sector for the Maltese economy and stated that this package is being holistically and thoroughly examined while changes to the sector are being considered, as they may have an impact on the whole European economic environment, not just on the transport sector itself. He also noted the progress made by the Estonian Presidency relating to these files.
The main elements of discussions during this meeting pertained to the Mobility Package—one of the biggest packages the Council has ever dealt with, comprising of a comprehensive set of rules. This package covers market, social and road charging rules, aimed at modernising European mobility and transport. The purpose of the mobility package is to help the sector remain competitive whilst safeguarding drivers’ social rights.
The TTE Council also discussed the proposed ‘Regulation on safeguarding competition in air transport’ and the future of the Aviation Strategy for Europe. The discussion also covered competition and connectivity in the European Union.
Minister Borg welcomed the progress made on the respective file and expressed his optimism for a strong and competitive aviation sector in the EU.
On the subject of maritime affairs, Minister Borg stated that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is committed to the achievement of shipping contributions, in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The Minister said that Malta looks forward to the adoption of the strategy to reduce greenhouse emissions from ships by the IMO in April 2018.