NORDUK meets again – focus on Mobility Package

Date: 12, September 2018
True to tradition the annual NORDUK meeting took place in the beginning of September, this time in Helsinki with representatives from the Nordic countries, the Netherlands and the UK. The NORDUK meetings are mainly meetings for the authorities from these countries but with support from the industry, encouraging the cooperation between the authorities. NLA participated as well as the members and supporters of NLA: DTL (DK), SÅ (S), NLF (N) and SKAL (FIN).

 

”The NORDUK meeting took place at a particularly interesting time this year,” comments CEO of NLA Soren Larsen. “With the Mobility Package facing problems in Parliament and Council, there is a need for a new approach to the negotiations. The NORDUK meeting was a good opportunity to do status with colleagues from the industry and from the authorities”.

There is a broad agreement that the key to a solution in the negotiations on the Mobility Package is an agreement on the rules on the posting of workers. There is also a broad agreement that a majority is – after having taken a long road to get there – converging to an agreement that posting rules also need to apply to international transport – or at least part of it, such as cross-trade transport and combined transport.

“But a lot of details are still not clear. And while the Commission understandably is frustrated that Council and Parliament are not moving faster, the Commission needs to understand, that industry and authorities are very much looking at the full impact of the different rules: driving and rest time, posting rules, access to the market (cabotage). And not least how to enforce these rules in an efficient and effective way. And this makes negotiations a bit more slower,” adds Soren Larsen

An example of this became clear in Bruxelles, at the same time as the NORDUK meeting. The MEPs in charge of the Mobility Package in the Transport Committee in the Parliament met to decide what to do after the failure to find any majority in June and July. They decided to spend the coming weeks in talks with the Employment Committee – who also has some competence on the issue of the rules on posting for road transport. This was done in recognition, that a majority in Parliament can only be found when MEPs from Transport and from Employment Committees find a broad compromise. But it will take extra time.

The Nordic meeting also looked at other relevant issues, not least the impact of BREXIT. The discussion confirmed the impressions from the press, that the planning for BREXIT is now focusing on 2 possible situations: 1) contingency plans in case of no agreement before March 2019 on how the UK exits from the EU, and 2) the text that is needed in the withdrawal agreement to be used during the transitional period for the purpose of finding the new arrangement for the relationship between the EU and UK.  It is not possible at this stage to say which is the most likely outcome, but the no deal exit will definitely be complicated.