Amendments to Mobility Package I rejected by TRAN Committee
The plenary will carry final vote on the three files most probably in JulyMaria Koleva , Brussels
In a remote vote on Monday MEPs from TRAN Committee rejected all tabled amendments, overall about 100, for the three social and market access files of Mobility Package I and adopted at second reading the recommendations of the rapporteurs on the dossiers. The set covers legislative texts concerning posting of drivers, driving time and rest periods, and market access and cabotage.
In a letter to the members of the EP TRAN Committee members, transport industry organisations from seven EU countries - Bulgaria, Cyprus, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta, Poland and Romania, asked for repealing of controversial texts in Mobility Package I, which require the driver to return to the country where the vehicle is registered, at least once every four weeks, regardless of where is located and the trucks to return to the country in which the company is registered, at least once every eight weeks. The Council adopted its position at first reading via written procedure in early April.
This contradicts the idea of the objectives of the European Green Deal, by requiring vehicles to return every 8 weeks, and runs counter to fundamental freedoms in the Single Market, requiring drivers to return to the Member State of establishment, the letter underlines. The transport organisations also put their finger on the changed context and complicated situation caused additionally by Covid-19 crisis.
The branch organisations strongly support the freedom of the drivers to choose where to spend their weekly rest. They emphasised that the obligation for a specific driver's return location violates the fundamental right to free movement guaranteed for all EU citizens.
The requirement to return the trucks to the country of registration of the company every eight weeks is described as an extremely restrictive and discriminatory measure, which will disadvantage companies from the periphery of the EU. The letter points out the negative consequences for the environment and the congestion of roads and borders in Europe due to the excessive movement of trucks. In support of this claim, the position cites estimates that almost half of the vehicles will have to return without load to their countries of establishment.
Excessive traffic will put additional strain on both roads and border crossings as according to the new requirements, the trucks will have six mandatory returns to Bulgaria, which means an additional 10 days on the road, underlined Yordan Arabadjiev, Executive Director of the Union of International Haulers, specifying that this is not reasonable not only for the businesses, but for the society as well.
A EC Spokesperson said on Monday that an impact assessment on the two areas in the Mobility Package I, for which the Commission announced earlier this year, are still ongoing.
This ‘absurd’ piece of legislation, as the so called peripheral countries call it, will put an end to tens of thousands of hauler businesses in this part of the EU. The package will go for a final vote at the plenary most probably in July.