RECOMMENDATION FOR SECOND READING on the Council common position with a view to the adoption of a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down technical requirements for inland waterway vessels and repealing Council Directive 82/714/EEC

    8.6.2006 - (13274/1/2005 – C6‑0091/2006 – 1997/0335(COD)) - ***II

    Committee on Transport and Tourism
    Rapporteur: Renate Sommer

    Procedure : 1997/0335(COD)
    Document stages in plenary
    Document selected :  


    on the Council common position with a view to the adoption of a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down technical requirements for inland waterway vessels and repealing Council Directive 82/714/EEC

    (13274/1/2005 – C6‑0091/2006 – 1997/0335(COD))

    (Codecision procedure: second reading)

    The European Parliament,

    –   having regard to the Council common position (13274/1/2005 – C6‑0091/2006),

    –   having regard to its position at first reading[1] on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(1997)0664)[2],

    –   having regard to the amended Commission proposal (COM(2000)0419)[3],

    –   having regard to Article 251(2) of the EC Treaty,

    –   having regard to Rule 62 of its Rules of Procedure,

    –   having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A6‑0208/2006),

    1.  Approves the amended common position;

    2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

    Council common position


    Amendments by Parliament

    Amendment by Mathieu Grosch and Corien Wortmann-Kool

    Amendment 1

    Recital 10 a (new)

    (10a) Given that some vessels fall within the scope of Directive 94/25/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 June 1994 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to recreational craft* as well as of this directive, the annexes of the two directives should be adjusted by the committee procedure as soon as possible if there are any contradictions or incompatibilities between the provisions of those directives.


    *OJ L 164, 30.6.1994, p. 15. Directive last modified by Regulation (EC) 1882/2003 (OJ L 284, 31.10.2003, p.1).


    Or. fr

    • [1]  OJ C 341, 9.11.1998, p. 34 and OJ C 54, 25.2.2000, p. 79.
    • [2]  OJ C 105, 6.4.1998, p. 1.
    • [3]  Not yet published in OJ.


    1. Background

    In December 1997 the Commission submitted a proposal[1] for a Council Directive amending Directive 82/714/EEC of 4 October 1982 laying down technical requirements for inland waterway vessels. The proposal aims at aligning the Community technical requirements on the advanced standards governing navigation of the Rhine with a view to establishing a single scheme for the entire network of European waterways. The internal market and the development of free inland navigation on all waterways in the EU require the harmonisation or equivalence of technical and safety requirements according to the highest standards. This will further both the free movement of goods and high safety, environmental and social standards. At the same time the harmonisation of technical requirements and the mutual recognition of certificates on the Rhine and in the EU will improve the conditions for fair competition and establish a genuine level playing field in inland waterway transport in the single market.

    On 20 October 1998 the European Parliament adopted at first reading a legislative report[2], which amended certain points of the Commission proposal (see Chapter 2 of the report).

    Following the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam on 1 May 1999, the legal basis changed and the codecision procedure was introduced for the transport sector. On 16 September 1999 the European Parliament confirmed its opinion at first reading[3].

    In view of these developments, in July 2000 the Commission submitted an amended proposal[4], which took over the amendments tabled by the European Parliament to the original proposal. It also provided, by way of the comitology procedure, for account to be taken of future adjustments to the technical requirements in the light of technical progress and of the work of other international organisations, particularly the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR).

    Discussions on this proposal in the Council bodies remained at a standstill for a long period because of the question of the possibility of admitting craft with Community certificates to navigation on the Rhine. The possibility of such approval was initially ruled out owing to the rules of the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR). However, the situation altered when the CCNR adopted an amendment to the Convention of Mannheim (Additional Protocol 7) on 27 November 2002. This created a legal basis for certificates issued by other bodies than the CCNR – thus including the European Communities – to be admitted to navigation on the Rhine. After all five Member States of the CCNR had ratified this additional protocol, it entered into force on 1 December 2004.

    This development made it possible to reopen discussions on the text of the Directive. On 10 December 2004 the Council reached a partial political agreement on the main text of the draft directive. A few months later the Council bodies were also able to reach agreement on the text of the annexes. Following the revision of the whole text by legal and linguistic experts, the Council adopted its common position on 23 February 2006[5]. Owing to the length and complexity of the annexes this work took a very long time.

    2. Parliament’s first reading

    The most important of the amendments tabled by the European Parliament in its report T4-0606/1998 of 20 October 1998 were the following:

    · Highlighting the simultaneous existence, for inland waterway vessels, of the technical requirements of the Rhine navigation regime on the one hand, and of Directive 82/714/EEC on the other, and the need for the EU’s technical requirements to be aligned with the higher standards of navigation on the Rhine.

    · Adjusting the scope of the directive to include passenger vessels transporting more than 12 passengers.

    · Adoption of special rules for passenger sailing vessels.

    The Commission essentially took over these amendments in its new proposal of 19 July 2000. For example a new Article 15a on passenger sailing vessels was inserted in Annex II. The Commission also adopted the new comitology procedure of Decision 1999/468/EC. The Council also took account of the European Parliament's opinion at first reading in adopting its common position.

    3. The Council’s common position

    The main amendments proposed by the Council in its common position are:

    · Article 3 on “Obligation to carry a certificate”: as a result of in-depth preparative discussions between the European Commission and the EU Member States which are members of the CCNR, the wording of this article was changed slightly. It provides for the equivalency between the technical requirements as defined in Annex II of the Directive and the technical requirements laid down in application of the Revised Convention for Navigation on the Rhine.

    · Article 5 on “Additional or reduced technical requirements for certain zones”. At the request of some Member States the possibility was created of disapplying additional transitional requirements pursuant to Article II Chapter 24a where their application would lead to a weakening of individual national safety standards.

    · Article 19 ("Committee procedure”) was modified so as to follow the general rules for Committee procedures according to Articles 3 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC.

    · Article 25 (“Repeal of Directive 82/714/EEC”). The new version of the Directive is to replace the existing directive 82/714/EEE and thus improve legal certainty.

    · In Article 27 on the “Addressees” the text was modified so as to provide that the Directive is only addressed to those Member States which have inland waterways as referred to in Article 1(1).

    · Three new annexes (Nos. 7, 8 and 9) have been inserted into the text. These are the result of work in a joint working party of experts from the EU Member States, the CCNR and the Commission, and take account of technical progress and developments in the work of other international organisations, particularly the CCNR.

    · Annex 2, Chapter 15a on passenger sailing vessels. Further details of the special rules governing passenger sailing vessels are provided in this annex.

    Your rapporteur considers that these amendments are acceptable. They are either necessary (e.g. new rules in the comitology procedure, updated annexes) or justifiable, because they are of great importance to particular Member States (e.g. Articles 5 and 27) and will not lead to any reduction in safety. In addition, sufficient account has been taken of the amendments tabled by Parliament at first reading.

    4. Action at second reading: your rapporteur's proposal

    Your rapporteur regards it as particularly desirable that general technical requirements applicable to the whole Community inland waterways network should be adopted speedily in order to ensure free competition and safety in the internal waterways sector, and in particular to guarantee the harmonisation of these requirements at an early date.

    The annex to the directive reflects the state of negotiations in 2004, in which the intended use of any vessel of more than a given size using the waterways is taken into account (goods vessel, passenger vessel, sports boat, container vessel).

    Unfortunately the translation of this extensive annex into all the EU’s official languages took a very long time. It is essential in your rapporteur’s view to avoid any further delays in this process. Accordingly, the CCNR Decisions of 2005, e.g. on chapter 15 (Special provisions for passenger vessels) must be covered by the comitology procedure. Only in this way will it be possible to ensure that the harmonisation of the existing legal systems can take place without delay and legal certainty be created for trade and industry. To that end, your rapporteur proposes that no amendments be tabled to the common position.

    • [1]  COM(1997)0644 final, 9 December 1997.
    • [2]  Report by Christoph Werner Konrad, Resolution T4-0606/1998 of 20 October 1998.
    • [3]  Report by Konstantinos Hatzidakis, Resolution T5-0015/1999 of 16 September 1999.
    • [4]  COM(2000)0419, 19 July 2000.
    • [5]  Common position of the Council 13274/1/05REV1 of 23 February 2006.



    Council common position with a view to the adoption of a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down technical requirements for inland waterway vessels and repealing Council Directive 82/714/EEC

    References - Procedure number

    13274/1/2005 – C6-0091/2006 – 1997/0335(COD)

    Date of Parliament’s first reading
    – P number



    Commission proposal

    COM(1997)0644 – C4‑0066/1998

    Amended Commission proposal


    Date receipt of common position announced in plenary


    Committee responsible
      Date announced in plenary


      Date appointed

    Renate Sommer


    Previous rapporteur(s)



    Discussed in committee






    Date adopted


    Result of final vote

    + : 28

    –: 1

    0 : 5


    Members present for the final vote

    Margrete Auken, Inés Ayala Sender, Etelka Barsi-Pataky, Philip Bradbourn, Luis de Grandes Pascual, Christine De Veyrac, Saïd El Khadraoui, Robert Evans, Mathieu Grosch, Ewa Hedkvist Petersen, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Georg Jarzembowski, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Fernand Le Rachinel, Eva Lichtenberger, Seán Ó Neachtain, Josu Ortuondo Larrea, Luca Romagnoli, Gilles Savary, Renate Sommer, Dirk Sterckx, Ulrich Stockmann, Georgios Toussas, Marta Vincenzi, Roberts Zīle

    Substitute(s) present for the final vote

    Zsolt László Becsey, Fausto Correia, Den Dover, Elisabeth Jeggle, Helmuth Markov, Kathy Sinnott

    Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

    Raül Romeva i Rueda, Thomas Wise

    Date tabled


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