Thursday, 19 August 2010

Another 'Power Loss'?

Approximately three years ago 1.8million signatures were appended to a petition on the No10 website which was against the introduction of road-pricing. It is fair to say that the then government took little notice of this as, in effect, 'transport' is an EU competence under Article 90 and 91 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). For the benefit of readers I reproduce the wording of those two articles, in the section headed 'Transport', from the TFEU:

"Article 90: The objectives of the Treaties shall, in matters governed by this Title, be pursued within the framework of a common transport policy.

Article 91: 1. For the purpose of implementing Article 90, and taking into account the distinctive features of transport, the European Parliament and the Council shall, acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure and after consulting the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, lay down: (a) common rules applicable to international transport to or from the territory of a Member State or passing across the territory of one or more Member States; (b) the conditions under which non-resident carriers may operate transport services within a Member State; (c) measures to improve transport safety; (d) any other appropriate provisions." (my emphasis)

A Commission Staff Working Document, TEN-T Policy Review, deals with the Trans European Network - Transport (TEN-T) and the future development of this policy. It is interesting that in Part A of this working document, Results on the Public Consultations, from the table which follows only 16 'citizens' out of a total of over 500million (Wikipedia) actually responded, the remainder being 'stakeholders' etc. This does rather make a mockery of the document 'trumpeting' that "the public consultation elicited much interest from a broad range of organisations, public authorities and citizens from EU Member States and outside the EU.", however I digress......

From reading the Commission Working Paper it is obvious that the EU intends to set out 'rules' on how and where we have and use our roads and waterways, rules governing commercial aircraft and how they operate, airports and ports and also use of the EU's proposed satellite system Galileo, which will include road-pricing.

The Department of Transport have produced their own consultation which can be read here and the consultation response form cannot be accessed as the link does not appear to be working. This does also make a mockery of the fact that with the closing date for consultations being 10th September, it does somewhat limit the number of responses that can be submitted.

A recent comment on twitter contained the remark that the EU were intending to bring in road pricing by the 'back door'. Totally incorrect twitterer, its there - in black and white - if you only read the damn TFEU! No doubt when our transport systems are 'reorganised' out of all recognition the 'puppets' ensconced in Westminster will nod this through as their strings are pulled by their masters in Brussels!

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