Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Toomas Vitsut will today and tomorrow participate in the semi-annual meeting of the European Union affairs committees of the parliaments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in Vilnius, Lithuania, in order to discuss with his colleagues issues relating to energy and making of cross-border transport smoother.
Vitsut said that in the energy sector, the discussion would focus on synchronisation of the Baltic power network with Central Europe, which was considered more cost-effective and more reliable from the point of view of supply security than synchronisation with the Nordic Countries.
Regional LNG terminal will also be spoken about at the meeting. According to Vitsut, the Baltic States are looking for a long-term and market based solution in order to ensure the energy security of the three countries.
It is also necessary to discuss the energy package, which includes energy market design, functioning of the energy union, renewable energy solutions and energy efficiency.
Vitsut admitted that in the market and social issues of road transport, the countries of the region had to formulate a firm and common understanding, because the member states had great differences of opinion here.
In Vilnius, the road package initiated by the European Commission, which provides for specifying the rules for establishment, obliging to own property and have employees in the country of location in order to ensure equal competition, will be discussed. It is also planned to change the requirements on the working and rest time of drivers, and to regulate the conditions for posting of drivers. The initiative of the Commission requires that transport companies are obliged to ensure the drivers the possibility to return home after every three weeks.
The aim of the transport policy of the European Union is to shift from road freight to railways and inland waterways. Poland, however, wishes to draw attention also to the modernisation of East European roads in order to support the development of the economy of the region.
24.05 billion euro have been allocated to transport sector from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) in 2014–2020. The European Commission has set the aim that at least 50 percent of it should go elsewhere than to roads.
Vitsut will also introduce his colleagues the programme of the Plenary Meeting of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC), which will be held in Tallinn at the end of November. It is a conference of the parliamentary dimension of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, where the future of the European Union, digital single market, Security Union and external dimension of migration will be discussed.
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