ACCESS TO PORT SERVICES (6593/02)
Letter from the Chairman to the Minister
for Transport the Rt Hon John Spellar
Thank you for your letter dated 15 August, which
Sub-Committee B considered at its meeting on 21 October.
You appear to have negotiated a very much improved
draft, one that recognises the particular circumstances and efficiencies
in the UK port sector without prejudicing the basic thrust of
the Directive towards market opening. You have also secured significantly
extended transitional arrangements. We trust that these gains
will not be lost during the second reading in the European Parliament.
We are grateful to you for keeping us informed of the progress
of this document.
22 October 2002
Letter from the Minister for Transport,
the Rt Hon John Spellar to the Chairman
My letter of 15 August 2002 informed the Committee
of the political agreement reached at Transport Council of Ministers
in June, on the proposed EC Directive on Market Access to Port
Services ("the Directive"). The Council Common Position
was adopted in November and has since received further consideration
by the European Parliament ("EP"). This letter updates
you on the current position.
On 11 March 2003, following a plenary debate,
the EP adopted 28 amendments. These have now been submitted to
the Commission and:
Further pressure on the Commission
to produce clear state aid guidelines for the port sector.
Mandatory authorisation of port service
providers (ensuring compliance with a range of economic, social
and environmental safeguards across Europe).
Mandatory removal of any service
providers not complying with the above.
Alignment of durations granted by
virtue of port ownership with those of other service providers.
Transport Working Group meetings to discuss
the Parliament's opinion have been reconvened by the Greek Presidency.
The early indications are the Commission and a significant number
of Member States will strongly resist the majority of EP amendments.
The Commission is expected to provide a formal reaction on the
EP amendments shortly.
With the Directive now taking a clearer shape,
Department officials are working on a Regulatory Impact Assessment
(RIA), which will incorporate contribution and views from the
UK port sector including the trade unions and other Government
16 April 2003