Nordic agenda in the EU

Date: 20, April 2016
”The road initiatives (from the Commission) will result in: improved energy efficiency, reduced CO2 emissions, more fairness, increased competitiveness, job creation, innovation and new investment opportunities,” is how Transport Commissioner Bulc announced the ambitions of the Commission and launched the road transport conference held on April 19 in Bruxelles. She continued by focusing on 4 key areas: a well-functioning internal market, protection of workers’ rights, climate and the environment and digital technologies.

The purpose of the conference was  to present and discuss the forthcoming road initiatives from the Commission. These initiatives are being planned in order to improve and update the existing legislation and to solve the problems facing the road transport market today. So it covers basically everything from cabotage rules over driving and rest time to use of hired vehicles.

"Today’s conference was a good opportunity to take stock of what the Commission and other stakeholders are considering at this stage in the planning of the road initiatives, announced by the Commission for early next year” says the CEO of NLA, Soren Larsen ”And the result was that focus was on three things: enforcement, enforcement and enforcement. All around there was broad agreement that new rules or revised rules must have an impact. And this impact can only be achieved through making sure that the rules can be enforced.”

This is however easier said than done, because the conference also illustrated the big number of issues facing the Commission the coming months. There are the issues of better rules for cabotage, social rules for drivers away from their home country, dignified situation for drivers on parking spaces. There are the ban on the use of letterbox companies, need more clear rules for driving and rest time, requirement to return home, working time for self-employed, how to regulate light vehicles, national initiatives within posting of workers directive (minimum wages in Germany, France), road charging, decarbonisation.. to mention some of the issues.

”The Commission will the coming months launch consultations and assesments to try and identify the best way of tackling all these issues. There will be compromises made and everything cannot be achieved but NLA will work to ensure that focus are maintained on the main issues: We need to get the existing rules more clear and to work better and we need to get the right  right balance between fair working conditions and business operations for the benefit of the drivers and the operators and the industry,” continues Soren Larsen.

”The conference showed that the concerns of Nordic haulers has been heard in Bruxelles. Our concerns and problems are the agenda of the Commission. The challenge now is to translate this into practical solutions that will make a difference. Our Nordic cooperation gives us a good start for this work”, concludes Soren Larsen.

NLA is hosting an event on April 26, 2016 in Bruxelles together with TLN and IRU specifically on the enforcement issue.