Provisions of the controversial Mobility Package are discussed


2020 07 09


Following the final approval of the controversial Mobility Package by the European Parliament, the Ministry of Transport and Communications is taking measures to ensure the streamlined operation of Lithuanian carriers. Among the measures under consideration is a joint action with other countries before the European Court of Justice.


"I thank the representatives of Lithuania in the European Parliament who voted for the amendments and did not support the negative provisions of the Mobility Package. We will not stay idle and continue to defend Lithuania's interests, seeking to eliminate restrictive, discriminatory and disproportionate provisions. Together with Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Cyprus and Malta, we are co-ordinating our efforts for bringing an action to the European Court of Justice to dispute specific points of the adopted package," said Minister of Transport and Communications Jaroslav Narkevič.


The Mobility Package was adopted despite calls from Lithuania and other countries not to vote in favour of provisions that would undermine the functioning of the EU's single market by restricting the freedom of the provision of services. It is said that the provisions of the package will also be detrimental to the EU's efforts to meet the Green Deal targets and reduce emissions from transport. Lithuania along with Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Cyprus and Malta in June 29 of this year circulated a joint letter from the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Transport to Members of the European Parliament calling for consistency and consideration of the negative consequences for the functioning of the European Union's single market and for the environment.


Over the last few years, the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament, European business and industry associations, trade unions and other stakeholders in the EU have been engaged in intense discussions on new rules for the road transport market. The Mobility Package has been criticized for deviating from the European Commission's original objectives and for violating the principle of solidarity by establishing different payment arrangements for drivers.


The main concern is the obligation for trucks to return to the Member State of establishment of the company every 8 weeks. No less damaging are the provisions on restrictions on coasting operations, division of cross-border transport operations into bilateral and multilateral operations, the ban on rest in cabins in absence of adequate infrastructure and parking, and the unresolved problems of competition from third-country carriers.


The European Commission has also spoken on the problem provisions of the Mobility Package and is currently carrying out an impact assessment of the requirement to return the truck to the country of establishment. The assessment aided by the end of this year and based on it, the European Commission may initiate amendments to the approved Mobility Package with a view to repealing this negative provision.


According to the Minister of Transport and Communications, the approved Mobility Package may not achieve its overly important goal – the streamlined and uniform treatment of rules, which is necessary in order to ensure equal operating background for carriers in the EU member states. The Ministry of Transport and Communications is currently considering the provisions of the adopted package and intends to inform the European Commission about the shortcomings in the Mobility Package that need further clarification in order to achieve a level playing field in the EU.


The adopted legislation on access to the engagement in road transport operator business and the road transport market, including the return of trucks to the country of establishment every 8 weeks, along with changes in the provisions on coasting operations, enforcement of social laws and the posting of drivers will enter into force in 18 months since their publication in the Official Journal (OJ). Legislation has been adopted on drivers' work and rest periods, and the ban on weekly rest periods in the cabin will take effect immediately after publication in the Official Journal (OJ). Legislation is published in the Official Journal (OJ) within 20 working days of the voting in the European Parliament.