End of year statement from NLA

Date: 22, December 2016
It has been promised for a long time but now it should be coming! I am not talking about Christmas - which arrives with a certain reliability on December 24; I am talking about the long promised proposals from the Commission on revision of the rules for doing road transport in the EU.


We have been preparing and discussing for a long time – 2-3 years or more. In fact it was quite early after the existing rules entered into force that it became clear something was wrong. NLA and its member associations called already in Spring 2012 for use of the emergency procedure provided for in the legislation – a suspension of cabotage in the Nordic countries because the impact of cabotage was ruining the national road transport market.

It did not happen – it seems the emergency clause in the EU rules is only for show and not to be used – but what did happen, was that the Nordics have set the priorities for the EU. Since then we and the EU have not looked back. The issues being discussed in the EU are the issues on the Nordic agenda: more fair rules for cabotage and market access, better controls, fight against letterbox companies, better rules and better use of the rules for driving and rest time, a more fair market for transport with vehicles below 3,5 tons and of course a more efficient and effective framework for running a road transport business.

These are the proposals we will see coming the next 6 months, as well as changes to the rules on training, the rules on road charging and the rules on combined transport.

On top of this we are already dealing with proposals regarding climate and CO2, where the Nordic road transport industry is expected to deliver reductions that are close to impossible. Impossible also because our ways of reaching the reductions – longer, heavier trucks as well as for instance biofuels – are ways that are regarded critically in the EU.

Its never good to reach your peak too early. Sportsmen and lobbyist share this knowledge. We will need a lot of strength and effort in the coming years for when the proposals from the Commission arrive and for the discussions between Member States and the European Parliament. But we have the strength and the resources to stay on peak. Once again the Nordic cooperation will show its true value. Four associations from the Nordic countries working together for the best results in Bruxelles can only be the best way to use our resources and to fight for our gains.

NLA wishes you the best of Christmases and a very Happy New Year.