The European Commission has today (31 May) presented the first part of its road mobility package. The package contains proposals for controversial changes to current laws on the social and environmental aspects of the road transport sector, as well as an update that will affect the working conditions of freight drivers working abroad.
Karima Delli, Greens/EFA chair of the Transport and Tourism Committee and member of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, comments:
"The proposals made today are crucial because road transport is at the heart of two challenges for Europe: the reduction of pollution, and putting an end to social dumping, which causes great tension particularly between eastern and western countries. For the environment, the proposal for the revision of the Eurovignette directive acknowledges that the road transport sector needs to consider the costs of climate change, as it contributes more than 20% of EU carbon emissions. This is a positive step.
"In terms of the social aspects, the Commission does not seem willing to put an end to the deteriorating conditions of transport workers dues to unfair competition. New rules outlined in the package will exempt drivers from the Posting of Workers Directive when they are abroad for less than 3 days, thereby putting an end to the minimum wages for cross-border drivers. The key principle behind posting is that if you send a worker somewhere in the EU to do a job, he or she receives the minimum local pay.
"This new rule will make it very easy for those who use posting as a technique to exploit workers and undercut local standards. This is not only dangerous for Europeans, as it enhances the risks in terms of working conditions and road safety. It is also dangerous for the future of Europe because it feeds euro scepticism. Therefore we need more regulation and controls to put an end to those abuses. This is what the Parliament should defend in the next months."
Jakop Dalunde, Greens/EFA member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism, adds:
"The proposal is a first step but offers little in terms of bold solutions. Road pricing remains voluntary, whereas it should be mandatory for polluters to pay. The external costs of the road transport sector must be considered and levelled against costs met by other sectors. It is not reasonable that access charges for rail remain obligatory when they are voluntary for road. To enable a sustainable transport transition it is crucial to create a level playing field and address the unfair competition in the sector."