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An informal deal to remove the technical obstacles that differing national standards and procedures place in the way of rail operators and rolling stock manufacturers was struck by MEPs and EU and the Latvian Presidency of the Council of Ministers on Wednesday. This deal, on the “technical pillar” of the 4th railway package should cut the time and cost involved in certifying that operators, locomotives and carriages meet safety and technical standards.

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An informal agreement between EP and Council negotiators on a new directive for tracking traffic offences committed by drivers from another EU member states was approved on Tuesday by the EP Transport and Tourism committee with 32 votes in favour, 1 against and 2 abstentions. Agreed text makes the changes required by a ruling of the European Court of Justice, which should allow replacing the directive annulled by the Court with a new one before the date given for the expiry of existing rules.

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The intended German toll system still has elements that represent a breach of EU law, say MEPs in a draft resolution adopted in the Transport and Tourism Committee on Tuesday. National toll systems, introducing fees indirectly or directly based on nationality, would be contrary to European law, they add.

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Parts of the Commission’s proposals for the European Fund for Strategic Investments, which foresee the reallocation of €3,3 bn from the Connecting Europe Facility to provide a part of the €16 bn for the guarantee fund should be deleted, Transport MEPs suggested in their opinion approved on Tuesday. This target amount should instead be met by gradual budgetary commitments to the guarantee fund to be decided in the frame of the annual budgetary procedure, they add.

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Ahead of yet another seasonal time change lead transport MEPs urge EU countries to speed up their work and respond to citizens plea to end clock change.

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