Today, the European Commission presented a crucial legislative package which will fight the disintegration of the transport market in Europe and address concerns regarding the working conditions of drivers. The EPP Group warmly welcomes these proposals, as a revision of the existing rules in the transport sector is long overdue.
The proposals include a simplification of the driving and rest time rules, a clarification of the rules on cabotage and the proposal to get rid of the plethora of tolling boxes in the cabins of trucks by further stimulating cross-border inter-operability of tolling systems in Europe.
Wim van de Camp MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokesman on Transport and Tourism, said: "The road transport sector urgently needed these proposals to tackle the fragmentation of the market, adapt to technological developments and strengthen the position of drivers in Europe. The EPP Group will judge the proposals by their potential to reduce administrative burdens for entrepreneurs and protect the millions of jobs that depend on an open and competitive transport sector."
Among others, the Commission proposed to increase the cross-border inter-operability of the different tolling systems around Europe. Van de Camp said: “It is impossible to explain to Europeans that we have one internal market but dozens of different tolling systems. Countries have the right to introduce such a system but if they become Europe’s borders of the 21st century, we should think again. We need to stop this patchwork tolling madness.”
The proposals also contain new provisions for the national enforcement of transport rules. The EPP Group believes national enforcement will be crucial to ensure the equal application of rules across the road transport sector.
Wim van de Camp continued: "As almost three quarters of all transport in Europe is done by road, the importance of a level playing field cannot be overstated. If we want to give all entrepreneurs a fair chance, we need to make sure we all play by the same rules. National authorities are crucial for the proper enforcement of these rules. If they fail to do so, we should resist the temptation to make the European Commission or a separate agency responsible. Member States should assume their responsibilities, and the EPP Group will see to it that this remains a priority in the future."
The EPP Group is committed to finalising these proposals by the end of the mandate. Van de Camp concluded: "It will be a major challenge and we need the cooperation of all the political groups in Parliament and the Presidencies in the years to come. However, if we want to show that Europe can deliver, finishing before the next elections should be a matter of priority.”