Policy Areas

Minister Navarsete discussed deregulation and charging schemes with Commissioner Barrot

Deregulation of public transport and charging schemes in air traffic management systems were among the principal issues discussed when Norwegian Minister for Transport and Communications Liv Signe Navarsete met with EU Vice-president and Commissioner for Transport, Jacques Barrot in Brussels 7 February.

14/02/2006 :: Third country relations in the field of aviation and forthcoming mid-term review of the EU Transport Policy for 2010 were also on the agenda. The discussions showed converging views on several issues, including the importance of a regional flexibility in implementing European transport policies.

While it is the position of Norway that it should be for national authorities to decide whether tender should be compulsory or not, Minister Navarsete welcomed the recently published Commission proposal on public transport by road and rail since it clarifies the legal status and provides a common legal basis for the award of compensation and exclusive rights in public transport by road. On the other hand Mrs. Navarsete said that Norway is sceptical to the use of tender in public rail passenger transport, and was of the opinion that it is possible to achieve the same positive results by direct awards. Vice-president Barrot maintained that the Commission’s ambition was to achieve improved and more efficient services through a combination of measures. Mrs Navarsete stressed the importance of safeguarding the employees rights, and said that not only competent local or regional authorities, but also national authorities on a general basis, should be allowed to require that the selected operator grant the staff the same rights which they would have been entitled to if there had been a transfer of undertakings. Mr Barrot responded that he found this an important issue for further discussions.

Concerning aviation Minister Navarsete underlined that the Single Sky legislation should provide for the necessary flexibility to take account of the diversity between countries located in the centre as well as in the periphery of Europe. There should be scope for flexibility concerning the way in which the airspace may be organized, including charging schemes for air navigation services. Especially, Mrs Navarsete drew the Commissioner’s attention to the Norwegian view that it should be possible to maintain the current Norwegian system of cross-subsidy within airport systems. She was pleased to note that the Norwegian position had got positive responses in contacts with the Commission services.

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Minister NavarsetePhoto: Ministry of Transport and Communications