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Only the report of MEP Ismail Ertug on access to the occupation and the road haulage market and the regulations on cabotage were adopted today during the vote in the Committee on Transport and Tourism. Reports on the posting of drivers as well as driving and rest periods were rejected.

The regulations were adopted by a small majority, 27 to 21 votes, according to the Polish MEP Danuta Jazłowiecka. Her opinion is very strict:

Very bad news for the transport sector. 3 days of cabotage, 60h cooling off period, the obligation to return the vehicle every 4 weeks,” reports the MEP.

– After the vote, a meeting of coordinators will be organized, during which we will consider what to do next with the Mobility Package. One thing is certain at the moment – this one report has been adopted – said the chairman Karima Delli right after the vote on the last of the three reports that are part of the most important set of rules that are to affect transport in the European Union.

What was rejected?

MEP Elżbieta Łukacijewska from the Transport Committee said today that two unfavourable reports on rest period and posting have been blocked. She admitted, however, that at this point politicians are wondering what will happen next with the Mobility Package as a whole. One of the options that need to be considered is to stick with the European Commission’s proposal on two of the reports rejected today. As the MEP explains, this is not an ideal proposal, but better than what the rapporteurs have proposed today.

We rejected the lex specialis (concerning the posting – editorial note), which was not good for Polish transport companies, companies from Eastern Europe and in general for all transport companies in Europe. The French and Germans, however, voted for this report. The report on rest period was also rejected. It was controversial because many MEPs did not agree that drivers should be able to rest in the cabin,” Elżbieta Łukacijewska said after the vote.

She reminded that there are not enough adequate parking lots in the EU so that the drivers can safely leave the truck and sleep in the hotel.

A proposal for cabotage has been accepted. It is not perfect. Unfortunately, it assumes a return of a truck to a member state every four weeks, which we cannot agree with. It also assumes cooling off, that is, restricting cabotage operations in a member state for 60 hours before further cabotage operations can be carried out in the same country with the same vehicle. This is also absurd,” said Łukacijewska

However, she drew attention to the fact that during the forthcoming vote in the forum of the European Parliament, it will be possible to submit amendments to these provisions.

The industry is fighting

At the time when MEPs voted, a protest of carriers and drivers continued under the European Parliament building, including from Bulgaria, Croatia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Hungary. On the banners, you could read the calls to maintain the union in Europe („Keep Europe one union”) or to maintain the free movement of goods in the community („Continue the free movement of the goods in the EU, without restrictions”).

Organizations of transport company owners are opposed to the provisions of the Mobility Package, which in their opinion discriminate carriers from Central and Eastern Europe.

The package will define the new shape of European transport policy for the next decades. Meanwhile, it is an attempt of strength between environments that advocate free and liberal transport, and advocates of economic protectionism and protection of domestic markets,” notes the Association of International Road Carriers (ASMAP).

ASMAP criticizes, among others recognition of the driver as a posted worker and the fact that only bilateral transport was excluded from the posting.

The changes proposed in the course of works on the Mobility Package are in contradiction with its original purpose, which was to solve the most important problems on the transport services market in Europe. Contrary to previous declarations, they do not improve the working conditions of drivers, introduce additional restrictions in the freedom to provide transport services and maintain the existing legal barriers used by some countries,” notes ASPAM.

Photo: Twitter/KosmaZlotowski

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