5 December 2017 – After several technical meetings held this year and an exchange of views during the last Ministers’ meeting in June, the members of the Road Alliance Group (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Sweden, Switzerland and Norway) met in Brussels the day before the Transport Council meeting. Also their colleague from the Netherlands supports this statement.
The Ministers underlined the importance of the Agreement reached in the EPSCO Council (Employment and Social Policy Council) remarking that, the current EU legislation will continue to be applied to the posted workers of the road transport sector, while awaiting the outcome of the discussions on the mobility package. The outcome of the EPSCO Council is without any prejudice for the further work to be carried out on the mobility package.
The Ministers had an exchange of views based on the progress report of the negotiations on the mobility package, which will be introduced by the Estonian Presidency during the EU Transport Council meeting.
They took note of the second part of the mobility package, which will be presented by the Commission in the Council Meeting, where they observed that the two proposals on the combined transport and on the rules for the access to the international market for coach and bus services, were clearly linked to the first part of the mobility package.
They emphasized the principles of conduct to respect during the negotiations:
(i) the establishment of a single road haulage market, with a fair competition, laying down the conditions for ensuring decent working conditions for drivers, on the basis of the principle “equal pay for equal work”, (ii) taking into due account the safety of drivers and road users and (iii) strengthening the fight against fraud and illicit practices.
These core principles fully meet the main objective of the Road Alliance which is that of moving towards a more integrated Europe, with a road haulage sector based on both single market and respect of workers‘ fundamental rights, in particular social rights.
At this stage of the negotiations, the Ministers expressed their common view on the need to enhance several parts of the mobility package in order reach the right balance which has not been yet achieved. They welcomed with satisfaction the progress achieved by the Presidency on the light commercial vehicles operating in the international road transport, maintaining a careful approach to the future negotiations on this issue, which is of the utmost importance for the economic and social balance in order to create an open and sustainable common market in the road transport sector. In this context, a particular attention has to be paid to the cabotage’s question: as long as the principles above mentioned will not be observed, it will not be possible to accept further steps towards liberalization of these operations – be it in legal or practical terms – .
Ministers stressed their intention to submit joint proposals, in particular on controls which need to be intensified and simplified. To do so, they intend to make concrete proposals in the coming weeks in order to speed up the digitalization of these control operations. They agree on the fact that smart tachographs should be implemented in freight transport sector before the current 2034 deadline. They also welcomed the recent development of electronic delivery notes among many of the Alliance’s Member States. wishing to promote their use on a wider European scale.
The Road Alliance Group is committed to continue the constructive discussions on these issues at the European Council Meeting, along with discussing future perspectives of cooperation with the other Member States.