COMMON POSITION (EC) No 24/2004adopted by the Council on 26 February 2004with a view to the adoption of a Directive 2004/. . ./EC of the European Parliament and of theCouncil of . . . on minimum safety requirements for tunnels in the trans-European road network
(2004/C 95 E/05)
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OFTHE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the EuropeanCommunity, and in particular Article 71(1) thereof,Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic andSocial Committee (
),Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of theRegions (
),Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article251 of the Treaty (
In its White Paper of 12 September 2001 entitled‘European transport policy for 2010: time to decide’ theCommission announced that it would propose minimumsafety requirements for tunnels belonging to the trans-European road network.
The transport system, notably the trans-Europeantransport network defined in Decision No 1692/96/ECof the European Parliament and the Council of 23 July 1996 on Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network (
), is of paramountimportance in supporting European integration andensuring a high level of well-being among Europe'scitizens. The European Community has the responsibility of guaranteeing a high, uniform and constant level of security, service and comfort on the trans-European roadnetwork.
Long tunnels of over 500 m in length are importantstructures which facilitate communication between largeareas of Europe and play a decisive role in the functioningand development of regional economies.
The European Council on several occasions, and notably atits meeting on 14 and 15 December 2001 in Laeken,underlined the urgency to take measures in order toimprove tunnel safety.
On 30 November 2001, the transport ministers of Austria,France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland met in Zurich andadopted a common declaration recommending thealignment of national legislation on the most recentharmonised requirements for improving safety in longtunnels.
Since the objectives of the proposed action, namely theachievement of a uniform, constant and high level of protection for all European citizens in road tunnels,cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member Statesand can therefore, by reason of the level of harmonisationrequired, be better achieved at Community level, theCommunity may adopt measures, in accordance with theprinciple of subsidiarity, as set out in Article 5 of theTreaty. In accordance with the principle of proportionality,as set out in that Article, this Directive does not gobeyond what is necessary in order to achieve thoseobjectives.
Recent accidents in tunnels emphasise their importance inhuman, economic and cultural terms.
Some tunnels in Europe, put into operation a long timeago, were designed at a time when the technical possi-bilities and the conditions of transport were very different from today's. There are thus disparate safety levels and these need to be improved.
Safety in tunnels requires a number of measures relating,among others, to the geometry of the tunnel and itsdesign, safety equipment, including road signs, trafficmanagement, training of the emergency services, incidentmanagement, information to users on how best to behavein tunnels and better communication between the auth-orities in charge and emergency services such as thepolice, fire-brigades and rescue teams.
As the work of the United Nations Economic Commissionfor Europe (UNECE) has already made clear, the conductof road users is a decisive aspect of tunnel safety.
Safety measures should enable people involved in incidentsto rescue themselves, allow immediate intervention of roadusers to prevent greater consequences, ensure efficientaction by emergency services and protect the environmentas well as limit material damage.
20.4.2004 Official Journal of the European Union C 95 E/31
) OJ C 220, 16.9.2003, p. 26.(
) OJ C 256, 24.10.2003, p. 64.(
) Opinion of the European Parliament of 9 October 2003 (not yetpublished in the Official Journal), Council common position of 26 February 2004 and position of the European Parliament of . . . (not yet published in the Official Journal).(
) OJ L 228, 9.9.1996, p. 1. Decision as amended by DecisionNo 1346/2001/EC (OJ L 185, 6.7.2001, p. 1).