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Nine ministers urge the Commission to save the Green Deal by remedying shortcomings of the Mobility Package

Date

2020 02 19

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Transport ministers from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland and Romania urged the Commission to assess how the provisions of upcoming Mobility Package will affect the EU Green Deal ambitions. Their meeting with the Vice-president Timmermans and Commissioner Valean came after the European Commission recognized such potential negative impact at the final stages of negotiations last year and promised to come up with possible solutions before the controversial EU legislation comes into force.

The ministers delivered a common letter to the Executive Vice-President before the meeting. In particularly stating that the obligation for the vehicle to return to the country of establishment contradicts the EU’s climate policy objectives and the Paris Agreement goals and will result in additional empty runs and CO2 emissions from the road transport sector.

Minister of Transport and Communications of Lithuania Jaroslav Narkevic stated: “We welcome the recognition by the Commission that the compulsory return of the vehicle is not in line with the ambitions of the European Green Deal and the objectives of achieving a climate-neutral EU by 2050. We need to have an EU-wide impact assessment to see the magnitude of the problem and then take immediate actions.”

In addition, the Ministers put an emphasis on concerns related to the integrity and the functioning of the Single Market. The return of the vehicle will practically exclude from the Single Market haulers from island member states and will severely limit the access of haulers from many continental member states because of the geographical location of their home countries.

Also, part of the problem lies behind the third country operators, since there are no EU level instruments to ensure effective control throughout Europe. The situation may end up putting EU haulers at a competitive disadvantage, hindering the environmental performance of road transport and failure to fulfill social goals of the Mobility Package.

Ministers expressed clear preference that the impact assessment should become available as soon as possible, providing enough time to take remedial actions before the entry into force of the Mobility Package.

They stated to Mr. Timmermans: “We cannot deny the fact that the provision on the return of the vehicle is in contradiction and completely inconsistent with the Green policy in general. if there are any doubts, we must carry out a thorough impact assessment and prove those allegations.”

The ministers are considering applying to the ECJ for repeal the negative provisions in Mobility package I.