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Members of the European Association for Shipping, Transport, Logistics and Customs Services CLECAT are disappointed by the decision of the Council of the European Union. According to the organization, the provisions of the Mobility Package will not protect employees in the transport industry nor will they guarantee fair competition on the European market.

The European organization CLECAT, which brings together unions in the transport, forwarding and logistics sectors, appealed to the Member States in November to reject the request of the Austrian presidency regarding lex specialis and to completely exclude international transport from the provisions on posting.

When an agreement was reached at the beginning of December in the Council of the EU, involving transport by the provisions on posting, CLECAT issued a further statement full of criticism.

In the organization’s opinion, „the Council’s General Approach in no way responds to the need for simple, uniform, clear and easily enforceable rules which would facilitate transport operations, protect the workers employed in this industry and ensure a fair competitive environment.” It is just the opposite.

Negative consequences of the Mobility Package

Organizations belonging to CLECAT warn of the negative consequences of this approach, which will put an end to the efficiency and environmental benefits achieved by European road transport thanks to the single market.

According to them, the Council’s agreement in no way corresponds to the complexity of today’s transport activities.

The agreement of the Council by no means responds to the complexities of today’s transport operations. Intra-EU trade has developed beyond bilateral import/export trade and so have EU’s transport systems. Excluding bilateral transport plus 2 operations through the same Member States is far from sufficient to guarantee a well-functioning internal market for road transport,'” reads the CLECAT communication.

If the regulations come into force in the form in which they were adopted by the EU Council, they will only cause unnecessary empty runs, limit the flexibility and mobility of employees, thus affecting the entire EU economy – the organization believes. In addition, they will reduce the productivity of employees and increase administrative costs, which may be a heavy burden, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises.

CLECAT members also criticized the agreement on cabotage. They point out that although the Council’s aim was to simplify the regulations in this area, it was decided to tighten them, introducing, inter alia, Grace period. This in turn, according to the union, will contribute to even greater efficiency losses, capacity gaps in road freight transport and reduce employment.

Mobility Package

lex specialis, i.e. detailed regulations on professional drivers in the EU regarding posting. The general rules included in the Directive on Posting have already been established and will enter into force in 2020. However, they do not concern truckers, because due to the specificity of their work, MEPs are currently working on rules that will apply to transport, i.e. Mobility Package.

These works are prolonged and it is not known whether they will be completed at the beginning of next year. Currently, only the position of the EU Council on the Mobility Package is known. It was strongly criticized by some ministers, who described it as „protectionist”. The draft regulations, which the EU Council supported, include:

– the obligation to have second generation digital tachographs,

– limitation of systematic cabotage,

– the need for drivers to return home at least every four weeks,

– and the ban on spending a regular week’s rest in the cabin of the vehicle.

Now the common position must be worked out by the European Parliament, which will not be easy, mainly due to the reluctance of some Western Members to cooperate.

The format of the Mobility Package discussed in the EP consists of three reports on:

– cabotage,

– posting,

– driving time and rest period.

If the EP works out a common position, then it is only within the Trilogue, that is cooperation with the EU Council and the European Commission, that the final shape of the regulations can be determined.

Photo: Trans.INFO

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