Today, MEPs are to vote on the final shape of the Mobility Package. If they give a green light – then conversations will be transferred to the so-called trilogue that is the meeting of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the EU Council.
Last week, the Transport Committee of the European Parliament decided that work on the Mobility Package will be taken to the next level. The document that was approved by MEPs in April contains many provisions unfavourable to Central and Eastern European carriers.
This happened because the governments of Western European countries, under considerable pressure from trade unions, began to push the provisions aimed at pushing more competitive carriers from Eastern Europe out of their markets,” comments Elżbieta Łukacijewska, MEP from the Transport Committee, on her website.
All is not lost?
Last Friday, the EU transport ministers also discussed the Mobility Package. The Polish government was represented at this meeting by Rafał Weber, deputy minister of infrastructure. As the deputy minister later to journalists, there is still a chance to change the provisions contained in the Mobility Package, which are unfavourable for Poland and some EU countries. In his opinion, today’s voting on the mandate to negotiate the final shape of the Package can be beneficial for Poland and other like-minded countries.
We have new allies – Malta, Cyprus and Ireland. These are also countries that emphasize that from a climate perspective, the provisions of the Mobility Package are unfavourable – PAP quotes Weber’s statement after the meeting. The deputy minister also added that these three countries joined the countries of Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania and Latvia, and aim to stop legislating this given form of the package.
Mobility Package = higher CO2 emissions
During the meeting of ministers, Rafał Weber pointed out that the effects of the Mobility Package’s entry into force would be negative for the environment. Both the new cabotage regulations and the obligatory returning of the vehicles would increase the number of lorries travelling on European roads, which is contrary to the environmental objectives of the European Union, as they will cause higher CO2 emissions.
The deputy minister also cited data from the Polish Motor Transport Institute showing the estimated effects of introducing restrictions on cabotage. Limiting the performance of cabotage from seven to three days, based on the calculations of operations currently carried out by Polish carriers, will result in the need to burn an additional 200,000 tons of fuel per year for empty runs. This, in turn, will transform into an increase in CO2 emissions by about 635,000r tons per year. According to the deputy minister, this data shows that climate impact is not always taken into account in EU policy.
It is also worth remembering that at the beginning of September, the Employers’ Association “Transport and Logistics Poland” presented a report on the potential effects of the Mobility Package on the industry, prepared by an independent expert in the field of transport – prof. Peter Klaus. You can read more about this in our article.