Transport and Logistics Poland (TLP) is launching an initiative to create a legal expertise regarding the Mobility Package. When the document is ready it will be handed over to the Polish authorities who then are expected to submit a claim to the Court of Justice of the European Union. Representatives of carriers argue that in this way it might be possible to block laws that violate the basic principles of the Community.
Maciej Wroński, the president of TLP, admits that carriers must first wait for the final shape of the provisions included in the Mobility Package.
The fact that the EU Council has developed a general approach does not mean that it is already a law. There is still a vote in the European Parliament ahead of us, so we do not intend to give up. We still need to talk with MEPs and convince them to concrete solutions, showing the consequences of some ideas. However, even if the regulations are accepted and published, we can still find ways to appeal against them,” he explains.
He admits that TLP is currently preparing a budget for the coming year and expects that, at the expense of other projects, TLP will secure funds for experts who could prepare appropriate legal expertise.
If it turns out that we are not able to finance the expertise ourselves, we will ask other entities to cooperate in this activity,” adds Wroński.
Western billions versus eastern millions
We are sorry that we are sometimes alone in the fight for transport. It has been known for two years that the arrangements that are taking place in Brussels will be fundamental to the industry, that there is a need for lobbying in our case – conferences, expert opinions, meetings with the participation of politicians. Unfortunately, in Poland, only a small percentage of carriers, who after all serve a quarter of the transport market in Europe, became involved,” he adds.
He adds, that from the beginning everyone was aware that lobbying was necessary. However, lobbying is not free. The TLP’s „competitors from the West and opponents in a political dispute” spent 1.7 billion euros on lobbying in Brussels only last year. Meanwhile, Poland spent only 17 million euros.
The claim is well-founded
As estimated by the union, the cost of the legal expertise may amount to several hundred thousand euros. Maciej Wroński has no doubt that the government could use it to fight the law at the Court of Justice of the EU. However, if it turned out that the Polish authorities would not be interested in using the expertise, TLP intends to hand it over to other countries that might be interested to further advance the case, such as Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria or Slovenia.
Unfortunately, we do not have legal standing to independently challenge the adopted provisions. This can only be done by the governments of the Member States,” he explains.
He also argues that the claim is well-founded because many of the provisions that may be included in the Mobility Package violate the basic treaty rules, specifically the economic pillar (the freedom of movement of persons, goods, services, entrepreneurship and capital).
In 2017, a new pillar was passed, i.e. social rights, which some MEPs use to support restrictive solutions. The head of TLP admits that there may be a situation where in some areas these two pillars are contradictory. In the case of the Mobility Package, however, rules related to both pillars are broken.
The proposed provisions significantly limit the freedom of trade in goods and the provision of services. What’s more, they do not defend social rights at all, because they differentiate drivers depending on where they perform their work. It is said that they are to improve the social conditions of drivers, but some are exluded from the provisions of posting, while others are not,” he adds.
– Why is this happening? It’s easy. In fact, their purpose is not to care for workers’ rights, but to brutally protect domestic service markets,” says Wroński.
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