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In the last week of September, MEPs voted in favour of the negotiating of mandates by approving three reports which were unfavourable to Central and Eastern European carriers. Bulgaria does not rule out the possibility of referring part of the Mobility Package to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Bulgarian MEP Peter Vitanov, a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism, announced that Bulgaria will probably ask the CJEU to remove part of the Mobility Package. This step will be taken if MEPs do not reach a compromise on the most controversial issues within the framework of the so-called Trilogue, according to the largest Internet portal dealing with internal policies of the European Union, euractiv.com.Works of the Trilogue will start on 1 November.

Macron Package

The set of regulations for European transport, dubbed Macron Package by the portal, introduces new rules for the functioning of the industry, including the inclusion of drivers in the revised directive on posting a ban on overnight stays in the cabin, freezing cabotage and the most controversial regulation, i.e. the requirement to return trucks every 4 weeks to the country of establishment of the carrier. Bulgarians, Romanians, Poles, Hungarians, Latvians and Lithuanians are opposed to these changes which, in their opinion, constitute a protectionist measure. In their opinion, these regulations will prevent transport companies from Central and Eastern Europe from offering their services on the Western European market, which will lead to job losses and increased economic emigration. 

According to Vitanov, the Bulgarian government and carriers should adopt some amendments in order to negotiate the removal of the most controversial proposals.

The return of an empty truck [to the carrier’s country of the establishment – editorial note] is contrary to the fundamental principle of the EU – the free movement of goods and capital,” Vitanov told euractiv.com. 

A similar declaration was made in January this year by Polish Minister of Infrastructure Andrzej Adamczyk. The Polish government announced at the time that it would be preparing an appeal to the European Union’s Court of Justice if the EU adopted the Package’s provisions that would eliminate Polish transport companies from the EU market. The Ministry of Infrastructure informed the editorial team of Trans.INFO that the possibility of appealing the provisions of the Mobility Package I to the EU Court of Justice is still being seriously considered.

If the final form of the adopted regulations is unfavourable to Poland, they may be appealed against. It is worth remembering that negotiations are still ongoing and the final shape of the regulations is being agreed. The first trilogue (i.e. the first round of negotiations between the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission) is scheduled for 3 October 2019,” said Szymon Huptyś, spokesman for the Ministry.

Photo: Flickr.com/katarina_dzurekova CC BY 2.0

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