Lithuania and like-minded EU countries call for a suspension of works on the Mobility Package

Date

2020 03 30

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Against the background of the European transport market changed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lithuania, along with the like-minded EU Member States such as Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia, Poland, Malta, Romania, and Hungary, calls for a suspension of the EU Mobility Package consideration and adoption until the pandemic is over and the impact thereof on the transport sector is assessed.

 

Due to the changed situation and uncertainty about the end of the crisis and its impact in the future, the transport ministers of the mentioned countries appeal to the European Commissioner for Transport, Adina-Ioana Vălean, the Croatian Presidency of the EU Council and the transport ministers of all EU countries.

 

“The vast majority of road transport companies in the European Union are small and medium-size enterprises, which are especially vulnerable. The European Union should focus on supporting these undertakings in the dramatic situation we are in now, just as it helps the EU air carriers by amending the relevant legislation. Instead, we are on track of adopting the first Mobility Package whose provisions, combined with the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak will literally bring many European road transport businesses to an end. The exact scale of this impact is now difficult to predict”, the transport ministers state in their letter.

 

The ministers note that this year the situation in the EU transport sector is quite different from that in 2015 when the consideration of the EU Mobility Package was launched. After implementing the constraints set out in the Mobility Package, it would make it even more difficult for the European transport sector to cope with the difficult economic situation that is expected after the coronavirus pandemic is over. Ministers, therefore, consider that the provisions of the Mobility Package under consideration are extremely outdated and need to be revised with consideration to new economic reality.

 

We all agree that road transport is crucial for ensuring the uninterrupted supply of essential goods, including in particular medicines, medical equipment and food, both in the current situation and after the pandemic ends. However, this is not possible if drivers are forced to return to their home country and take a long rest there, or take their vehicle back to country of the Member State of establishment of the undertaking”, the ministers state.

 

Transport ministers stress that the adoption of the first Mobility Package in its current form is not justified.

 

The economic landscape of the EU when the coronavirus crisis is over will be surely a completely different one. The road transport sector needs new solutions addressing a new reality. Therefore, we urgently call for a suspension of works on the first Mobility Package until the pandemic is over and reassessment of the situation of the road transport sector could be done with regard to the possibility of implementing its provisions”, the transport ministers state.