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Transports, Telecommunications and Energy

The Transport Telecommunications and Energy Council (TTE) meets every two months, bringing together the ministers for transport, telecommunications and energy depending on the items on the agenda.

Transport, telecommunications and energy are important factors in long-term economic growth and employment. These are also issues for citizens where energy security, means of transport and the cost of telecommunications are concerned.

The European Union's objectives in these areas focus on:

  • creating modern and effective systems which are viable on economic, social and environmental levels:
  • promoting harmonised and sustainable infrastructure development to underpin the effectiveness of the internal market;
  • guaranteeing and strengthening economic and social cohesion among Member States.

The TTE Council is active in the three following areas:

Transport

The European Union's transport policy creates the material conditions necessary for setting up a common internal market allowing the free movement of persons, services and goods. It also defines the rules governing competition in the different transport sectors to guarantee a single market with fair and equal opportunities.

To achieve these goals, concrete measures are being implemented with a view to:

  • improving transport security;
  • adopting rules that are common to the Member States and applicable to international transport;
  • standardising conditions under which non-resident carriers may operate transport services within a Member State.

Other measures, for example, have been undertaken by Member States at European Union level with regard to maritime security following the oil spills from the Erika and Prestige disasters in 1999 and 2002. These accidents led the Member States to adopt stricter common legislation within the framework of the European Union to prevent such disasters from reoccurring.

Energy

Although energy policy falls within the competence of Member States, the European Union has set itself policy coordination aims in order to:

  • guarantee an affordable energy supply for all consumers;
  • guarantee environmental protection;
  • promote healthy competition on the European energy market;
  • improve energy efficiency within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol.

In TTE Council meetings Member States' representatives examine the measures that are necessary to ensure the security of supply in gas, oil-based fuels and electricity in the European Union. They are also committed to promoting renewable forms of energy and concrete measures for energy management. The TTE Council develops a legislative framework within which these measures can be implemented to guarantee the effectiveness of the internal energy market.

Telecommunication

Cutting-edge information and communication technologies must be accessible to the widest possible public to enable the dissemination of knowledge and facilitate dialogue between citizens of different Member States. These technologies require heavy funding for research and investment.

To achieve these aims, the European Union has set itself four priorities in the telecommunications sector:

  • establishing a Europe-wide integrated telecommunications network;
  • implementing the information society;
  • eliminating regulatory disparities between Member States with regard to prices, standards, market-access conditions, public procurement, etc.
  • opening up national markets.

The European Union has also set up the 'eEurope' initiative, which aims to provide all citizens with easy access to the internet as soon as possible.

The Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council acts by qualified majority in co-decision with the European Parliament. In cases where legislative provisions may seriously affect the living standards and employment in certain regions, or influence infrastructure development, the Council acts unanimously in consultation with the European Parliament.

 

Elements "Transport, Telecommunications and Energy"

  • Updated: 09.07.2008
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