Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Toomas Vitsut is in Vilnius for a two-day, semiannual meeting of the European Union affairs committees of the parliaments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland focusing on issues related to energy and cross-border transport.
Vitsut said ahead of the two-day meeting that in the energy sector, the discussion would focus on the synchronization of the Baltic power network with Central Europe, which was considered more cost-effective and reliable from the supply security perspective than synchronizatin with the Nordic countries, according to a Riigikogu press release.
Also on the agenda is the proposed regional LNG terminal. According to Vitsut, the Baltic states are seeking a long-term and market-based solution in order to ensure the energy security of the three countries. Likewise to be discussed is the energy package, which includes energy market design, the functioning of the energy union, renewable energy solutions and energy efficiency.
Vitsut said that the countries of the region must formulate a firm and common understanding concerning the market and social issues of road transport, as they have great differences of opinion when it comes to these issues.
Also to be discussed at the meeting is the road package initiated by the European Commission, which provides for specifying the rules for establishment, obligating owning property and having employees in the country of location in order to ensure equal competition. It is likewise planned to change the requirements of drivers' working and rest time, as well as regulate the conditions for the posting of drivers. The Commission's initiative requires that transport companies are obliged to ensure drivers the opportunity to return home after every three weeks.
The aim of the transport policy of the European Union is to shift from road freight to railways and inland waterways. Poland, however, wishes to draw attention to the modernization of Eastern European roads as well in order to support the development of the economy of the region.
€24.05 billion has been allocated to the transport sector from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) in the 2014-2020 period, and the European Commission has set the goal of spending at least 50 percent of it on projects other than roads.
During the two day meeting taking place on Sunday and Monday, Vitsut will also introduce his colleagues to the program of the Plenary Meeting of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC), which will be held in Tallinn at the end of November.
COSAC is a conference of the parliamentary dimension of the current Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, where the future of the European Union, the digital single market, Security Union and external dimension of migration will be discussed.
Editor: Aili Vahtla