Mobility package moves towards adoption

In the midst of coronavirus pandemic, the Council backed in haste on Tuesday so called Mobility Package I, the notorious truck drivers’ reform, which is a step in a complex and lengthy procedure towards its final adoption. The package covers three legislative files concerning posting of drivers, driving time and rest periods, and market access and cabotage.

The Council adopted its position at first reading via written procedure. A provisional agreement was reached between the Council presidency and the European Parliament on 11 December 2019. The agreed text was endorsed by the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee on 20 December 2019, and the Council confirmed the political agreement on 20 February 2020.

In a letter, sent in March to the President of the Commission, President of the European Parliament and the Croatian Presidency, transport ministers of Bulgaria, Cyprus, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, and Romania asked the EU to halt work on the package arguing that the vast majority of road transport companies in the EU are SMEs and particularly vulnerable to the effects of a coronavirus pandemic. The European Union should focus on supporting these companies in the dramatic situation they are currently in as it has already taken steps to help struggling airlines, these transport ministers urged. Instead, we are on track of adopting the first Mobility Package whose provisions, combined with the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak, will literally bring many European road transport businesses to an end, letter read.

As the Council explained, the legal acts now need to be adopted by the European Parliament at second reading before being published in the Official Journal. The two regulations will enter into force 20 days after publication, and the directive the day after publication.

The rules in the market access regulation and posting directive will become applicable 18 months after the entry into force of the legal acts. The rules in the driving times regulation will apply 20 days after publication, with the exception of special deadlines for tachographs.

 The vote in the EP plenary will be probably in June.

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