The European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee voted today to phase out Eurovignettes for heavy goods vehicles and vans and for interoperability of road tolling systems throughout the EU. The vote is the first in a series of big mobility package files that are on the table in the European Parliament. Georges Bach MEP, Shadow Rapporteur on the Eurovignette Directive, said: "We want the time-based vignettes to be phased out by 2023. No country will be forced to introduce road-charging systems, but if they have a system, it should be based on distance and not on time and the revenues from road charging should be reinvested to improve road infrastructure. In this new legislation, we have been particularly attentive to the potential costs for drivers and companies, which is the reason why we strongly resist so-called congestion charges. Our Group will not penalise people for being stuck in traffic on their way to work."
In another vote, MEPs voted to harmonise existing road charging systems to make them more user friendly, save money and facilitate cross-border information exchange. Massimiliano Salini MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on the interoperability of road toll systems, said: "This is a positive step for many truck drivers in Europe. We are finally getting rid of the abundance of different tolling systems in Europe. It will save businesses time and money and make the transit between countries easier. Businesses will have more money to invest in their companies and their people. Also, it will make it much easier for authorities to trace the owners of trucks and vans that have not paid their road fees in other parts of Europe."
In order to avoid double charging of trucks and vans due to the introduction of road charging, the Transport Committee also voted to give Member States the possibility to reduce their vehicle tax for the use of heavy goods vehicles. Deirdre Clune MEP, Spokeswoman for the EPP Group on taxation matters in transport, said: "We should be mindful of the tax pressure that is put on our businesses in the transport sector. This is why we are giving Member States flexibility on the levels of their vehicle taxation. If countries decide to introduce distance-based charging systems, then governments should have the possibility to lower vehicle tax to avoid double charging."
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 219 Members from 28 Member States