Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (693)

Charlie O'Connor

Question:

811 Mr. O'Connor asked the Minister for Transport to report on his Department's activities in respect of Ireland's EU Presidency; if he will outline his plans for the next few months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1218/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport)

The Department of Transport's objective is to ensure a focused and pragmatic Presidency which delivers realistic goals. Last week I presented Ireland's Presidency programme for the transport sector to the regional policy, transport and tourism committee of the European Parliament in Brussels. The full text of that address is available on my Department's website atwww.transport.ie. In addition, I have held meetings with delegations of different member states, trade associations and other representative bodies in pursuance of that programme.

Over the next few months the Department will chair approximately 22 working group meetings dealing with transport issues, leading up to two Transport Councils on 8 March 2004 in Brussels and 10 June 2004 in Luxembourg. The immediate focus of our work is on progressing the trans-European networks, TENS, guidelines on transport to meet the needs of the enlarged Europe, and completing the second rail package of rail freight liberalisation measures.