Articles taggés avec ‘Member of the European Parliament’

EU funding: MEPs adopt legislation on higher safety standards for road infrastructure

Vendredi 20 juin 2008

MEPs adopted a legislative report on a directive to upgrade road safety management standards.

The aim is to establish EU-wide standards on road infrastructure management. Safety standards for roads, in particular in road design maintenance, differ greatly between the Member States. The Directive requires the establishment and implementation of rules relating to road safety impact assessments, road safety audits, the management of road network safety and safety inspections by the Member States.
To raise standards, the draft directive provides for impact assessments of the effect of road building on safety, safety audits and inspections, and improved safety in the existing road network. This would include the identification of high-risk road sections as well as the use of intelligent road signs and intelligent transport systems and telematics services for emergency and signage purposes.

The EP Transport Committee initially rejected the draft directive outright, on the grounds that it risked creating too much red tape and that this area was best dealt with at national level.

EP negotiators have now reached an agreement reached with the Council, which the House endorsed in Strasbourg. The EP rapporteur is Helmuth Markov (GUE/NGL, DE) and was adopted with 498 votes in favour, 8 against and 6 abstentions.

The substance of the legislation is contained in the annexes to the directive but, under the compromise, these will be non-binding on Member States. Thus, the directive will in effect not lay down any major substantive requirements but rather serve as a set of guidelines for Member States on how to manage road infrastructure safety.

Road signs

MEPs say that Member States must ensure that signs are in place to warn road users of road infrastructure segments that are undergoing repairs and which may thus jeopardise the safety of road users. These signs must also include signs visible during both day and night time and set up at a safe distance.

Roadside parking

Parliament underlines that sufficient roadside parking areas are very important not only for crime prevention but also for road safety. Parking areas enable drivers to take rest breaks in good time and continue their journey with full concentration. The provision of sufficient safe parking areas should therefore form an integral part of road infrastructure safety management.

The rapporteur and on behalf of the EPP-ED, PES, ALDE, EUL/NGL and Greens/EFA tabled a range of amendments on assessments and audits, on sufficient roadside parking areas in order to promote crime prevention, and on the use of uniform signs EU-wide in order to warn road users of road infrastructure segments undergoing repairs.

European Parliament

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Eu funding: Civil society meets for climate change Agora

Mardi 10 juin 2008

If you are worried about climate change, then a conference taking place at the European Parliament this Thursday and Friday may be of interest.

Known as an “Agora” after places of assembly in Greek city-states, the meeting brings together over 500 people - NGOs, climate experts and international experts to join MEPs in debating ways to combat climate change. The issue is a crucial one for the European Parliament as it will be required to legislate on EU-wide measures to reduce CO2 emissions.
The point of the Agora is for the views and proposals of members of civil society to be fully heard as the EU attempts to set out carbon reducing measures. Opened by EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering, Thursday morning will be devoted to setting out the state of play of international negotiations in reaching a post-Kyoto agreement. In December last year the international community agreed a “road map” setting out the way forward when Kyoto expires in 2012.

Debates and workshops to determine way forward

Among the speakers will be European Commission President José Manuel Barroso who will outline the climate change package aiming to reduce Europe’s Greenhouse gases by 20% by 2020. Italian MEP Guido Sacconi (PSE) and Karl-Heinz Florenz (EPP-ED) will present the interim report of the special committee on climate change. Also speaking will be leading American intellectual Jeremy Rifkin who has long advocated policies to reduce climate change.

Thursday afternoon and Friday will see delegates divided into workshops on resources, techniques, solidarity, economics and governance.

* Natural resources and biodiversity
* Research, innovation and technologies
* Ethical questions related to climate change in particular that of solidarity;
* Economics, trade and development.
* Education, political and practical participation of consumers and citizens in relation to climate protection.

On Friday afternoon the results from the working groups will be presented in a plenary of the Agora and final recommendations will be agreed. All of the debates will be available live on the EP website on Thursday and Friday - making it possible to watch the Agora live wherever you are.

European Parliament

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