zoom MEP Knut Fleckenstein, the rapporteur on the European Commission’s proposal for a Regulation on Market access to port services and financial transparency of ports announced yesterday that the legislative procedure for this particular file will be suspended.Mr Fleckenstein stated three reasons for his decision, namely time constraints, a lack of compromise on one of the most important elements: the scope of the market access chapter, and, finally, the need to better understand the European Commission’s intentions with regard to state aid rules applicable to ports.Given the two previous failed attempts to regulate EU ports in 2003 and 2006, the more modest and cautious approach adopted by the Commission on its third charge seemed at first to have a better chance of succeeding.Nevertheless it all turned sour at the very early stages of the legislative process. The Commission’s proposal was about to be extremely watered down by Members of the European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN). Indeed, over 500 amendments tabled by MEPs and compromise amendments, many of which would have led to a text destitute of meaning, thus delivering the death blow to the Commission’s proposal.“The initial proposal was already weak to begin with, given that essential elements such as cargo-handling and passenger services had been excluded. Disheartening as it was to witness some of the amendments introduced in Parliament, we maintained until now a glimmer of hope that the proposal would not be stripped down to little more than an empty shell” deplored Patrick Verhoeven.“The time-out of the debate on the Regulation proposal as announced by Mr Fleckenstein may, under the present circumstances, be the only sensible option left. It should however not stop the European Commission from encouraging port development and efficiency in the meantime. There is now an opportunity to make progress on the long-overdue proposal regarding pilotage exemption certificates and follow up on those areas where market access and transparency are problematic” he added.ECSA, March 14, 2014
Warm weather means busy beaches and Nova Scotia’s lifeguards will be supervising swimmers starting Saturday, June 29. “Nova Scotians enjoy our many beautiful beaches knowing that there are highly trained lifeguards,” said Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin. “I encourage everyone to have fun at our beaches while staying safe.” The Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service provides 82 lifeguards to supervise 23 beaches in 12 counties. Last summer, more than 370,000 people visited the beaches and more than 150 rescues took place. “We are hoping for another safe season, but are preparing staff for any incident that could occur,” said Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service Director, Paul D’Eon. “All beachgoers are urged to swim between the red and yellow flags that designate the supervised area.” The Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service and the Nova Scotia Branch of the Lifesaving Society supervise select beaches. They also guard some federal and municipal beaches. A complete list is available at http://lifesavingsociety.ns.ca/index.php/nsls-home/about-nsls/overview . The Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service also helps government test water quality to ensure the safety of all swimmers.