European Parliament – new resolution on road pricing
It considered that the situation was not due to technological issues, which were already solved, but rather to the lack of political will and commercial interests on the part of Member States, toll chargers and EETS providers. It urged the Commission to take drastic action through infringement procedures and then by taking all appropriate legislative measures. Members reaffirmed their commitment to the success of the EETS as an important tool to improve the daily life of European citizens and businesses. In this regard, the step by step approach (regionalization) suggested by the Commission was not considered satisfactory. The Committee made it clear that it should only be a transitional step, the ultimate goal being a full European service. Members also underlined the need to preserve Member States' rights to decide on the introduction of a road charging system and on the use of the money collected. In any case, such a service should be proportionate, non discriminatory, affordable, user friendly and take into consideration the specific situation of crossborder users.
The Commission agrees with most of the diagnosis contained in the report. It intends to propose an initiative this year to promote distance-based tolling. The proposal could include provisions for private cars and aim to manage congestion and address possible discrimination between different users, as well as the rights of road users. We should, as far as possible, leave some flexibility for the Member States to set the amounts charged (possibly with the exception of congestion charges) and to decide on the allocation of revenues. This addresses the request made in some of the amendments that Member States should have a greater say in setting the level of tolls.
We agree that regional deployment of the European Electronic Toll Service should not lead to the abandonment of the objective of full European coverage. Full European coverage remains the objective of the directive, as decided by the European legislator, and we will follow regional projects very carefully to ensure they are scalable to the whole Union.