No agreement in the first EU-Mobility Package meeting with the new elected MEP’s
Negotiators of the European Parliament and the Council did not find a compromise on planned reforms for road freight transport during the nightly meeting. Above all, the flexibility of drivers’ driving and rest periods is controversial. The EU Parliament and Council negotiators met in Strasbourg on Monday to Tuesday night to discuss their positions on the planned reforms to road freight transport. However, the seven-hour meeting failed to deliver a breakthrough, according to the Transport Review by Ismail Ertug, Deputy Group Chairman of the S & D Group in the European Parliament. When and how it will continue, is currently not foreseeable. There will probably be another meeting in one to two weeks.
While most of the three dossiers on amendments to cabotage, driving and rest time regulations and secondment agreements were foreseeable, the European Parliament and Council do not find each other in the flexibilization of drivers’ driving time and rest periods as proposed by the Council. The Council is committed to ensuring that two consecutive weekly rest periods are possible in future. Parliament wants drivers and vehicles in international traffic to return to their country of origin every four weeks by truck.
“While we were able to get close to almost all issues, we were still too far apart on the two crucial points: the flexibility of driving and rest periods – which Parliament rejects – because it would be at the driver’s expense, and the obligation to return the vehicle to the country of the branch, “explained Ertug. “This is indispensable for us, because only then can we effectively combat social dumping in Europe,” said the spokesman for transport policy of the European SPD.
Because there was no compromise on some points, the negotiators postponed the negotiations on the first EU mobility package. Next time they want to meet in December – probably in the presence of EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc, who launched the road transport reform measures in May 2017. A date has not been set. However, the Finnish EU Presidency intends to finalize the draft legislation in the second half of the year. The fronts, however, seem to be hardened.
(Source: VR Germany)