Representing around 17.000 road transport operators and companies in the Nordic countries, Nordic Logistics Association (NLA) is holding its annual meeting in Copenhagen from 1-2 October. After 8 years in Brussels, we are content to see that the voice of road transport operators and companies from the Nordic countries are being heard in EU policy making processes, not least NLA played a significant role in relation to the new mobility packages.
The annual meeting is looking at the opportunity for closer cooperation with the Nordic governments and will assess how digitalisation might affect the enforcement of EU legislation on road transport. The Danish Minister for Transport, Benny Engelbrecht, and the three Nordic ambassadors to Denmark will participate in the meeting.
The ambition has been met
With the adoption of the Mobility Package, which ensures level playing field and fair transport for hauliers in Europe, NLA has achieved one of its main aims since it was founded on 19 January 2012.
Our main ambition has been to fight for the interests of road haulage operators and companies from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland in the EU – as an increasing amount of transport legislation is initiated at EU level. This goes for the European Commission, The Council of the EU and the European Parliament. We have been highly successful, says Chairman of NLA, Erik Østergaard:
“When we founded NLA, our aim was to provide EU decision makers with a more solid input for legislation at EU level. This in order to ensure legislation reflecting the needs of the transport operators in the Nordic countries. As such, the transport operators that are members of DTL (Denmark), NLF (Norway), SÅ (Sweden) and SKAL (associate member from Finland) can better influence the EU decision makers. At the same time, we believed that our members should have fair competition. Therefore, we wanted to challenge the unfair competition Nordic operators experienced despite the best intention of a common internal market with a level playing field. I think it is fair to say that, we have been successful.”.
Strong cooperation with SKAL, BGL and FNTR
From its beginning, NLA has worked for limiting cabotage as a more temporary option in the EU. At that time, voices within the European Commission spoke in favour of a liberalised transport market. To the Nordic road transport companies, such a liberalisation would not be tolerable.
The Mobility Package proposed by the European Commission in 2017 provided significant challenges to Nordic transport operators. After many years of hard work, NLA was successful in ensuring a legislative package that maintained the interests of our members – in close cooperation with the German road haulage association BGL and the French road haulage association FNTR. Therefore, the CEOs of these organisation are also participating in the annual meeting.
Closer Nordic cooperation
Erik Østergaard: At the Annual meeting we will reflect at the process of adopting the Mobility package and look forward at new opportunities. For example, the Nordic Council – the official body for formal inter-parliamentary co-operation in the Nordics since 1952 – has never had transport as a main policy area. We would like to look into how we could facilitate a closer Nordic cooperation for transport.”
“We have had various Nordic cooperation at both policies making level and at organisational level. For instance, the Nordic Road Association (NVF), the yearly NORDUK meetings as well as the Nordic Lorry Union, which in 2012 became NLA. Traditionally the Nordic governments have had a close cooperation with the industry, and we hope this close co-operation can be further strengthened.”.