PRESS RELEASE UNTRR requests priority for Romania's entry into the Schengen area and the right of free movement in the EU for Romanian road carriers and passengers, without blockages for trucks and coaches at the EU borders
The National Union of Road Transporters from Romania - UNTRR calls on Romanian authorities and the European institutions to ensure Romania's accession to the Schengen area as a priority and to ensure the right of free movement in the EU for road hauliers and Romanian passengers, as well as the elimination of the blockages that currently affect trucks and coaches at the borders of Romania, EU member state since 2007.
15 years after Romania's accession to the European Union, queues of tens of kilometers of trucks at the EU borders are unacceptable, blocking the activity of Romanian road carriers and generating pollution, 25% - 30% lost working time for Romanian drivers and delays in delivery of goods to customers, affecting logistics chains, production processes and the supply of the cities and leading to increased costs for road hauliers and end consumers.
This year, there were truck queues of more than 25 km at the Western borders of Romania (Nădlac 2, Borș and Petea) and at all the border crossing points of the Romanian border with Bulgaria (Giurgiu, Calafat, Negru Vodă, Vama Veche, including those with ferry) there were queues and waiting times of over 72 hours. If Romania had been in the Schengen area, many of the problems encountered up to now would have been eliminated, and waiting times at the border would have been significantly reduced for Romanian road hauliers.
Romania's entry into Schengen is a necessity for the road transport industry, facilitating border crossing for the trucks and the coach travels of Romanian passengers in the European space without borders. At the same time, by eliminating blockages at EU borders, professional drivers would no longer face the huge waiting times in the truck and would gain a day of driving, goods could reach their destination faster and more efficiently and polluting emissions and fuel consumption would be reduced and thus transport companies would bear lower costs
These aspects will represent an advantage for attracting foreign direct investment in Romania, which will lead to the development of the economy, production, logistics and, implicitly, the transports. UNTRR has repeatedly pointed out the control practices of the Hungarian side, which only lower Romania on the list of options for foreign investors, who in the current conditions prefer Hungary - where the annual volume of foreign direct investments was and is 2 to 4 times higher than in Romania. Over the past 15 years, Hungary has attracted €170 billion in foreign direct investment, while Romania, a country twice as large and with double population, has managed to attract €54.4 billion in foreign direct investment. In per capita terms, Hungary attracted 6 times more money in the same period. The member states collaborate, but it must be remembered that they are in a permanent competition to attract investors for their own development. The simple fact that Romania was welcomed to the EU table does not mean that it will receive something for free. The EU member states are like a national sports team in a European or world competition, each one wants to conquer the first place.
The outcome of the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA) this week regarding Romania's acceptance into the Schengen area is particularly important and expected by the road transport industry in Romania, given the numerous benefits that entry into Schengen will bring for both Romanian road hauliers and professional drivers, as well as for their passengers and customers, respectively:
- Eliminating long waiting times for trucks at internal EU borders by road will reduce pollution, fuel consumption, costs and delays in supply chains
- Eliminating abuses and unjustified waiting times at passport control for coaches will offer Romanian and foreign tourists a civilized treatment
- Avoiding to exceed the strictly regulated driving times in the EU, by Romanian drivers, due to the long waiting times in the queue at the border crossing, will lead to avoiding their sanctioning by the European control authorities while also increasing the effectiveness of the activity of Romanian professional drivers
- The possibility to mitigate the professional drivers shortage by hiring drivers from third EU countries and using these drivers in international transport, similar to companies in Schengen countries. At this moment, drivers hired from third countries cannot work in the EU for more than 90 days in a 180 day period.
The EU Member States must stop the practice of unjustified discrimination of some Member States like Romania, which is more than involved in the relationship with the EU and NATO, and which does not enjoy equal treatment from the other EU and NATO states, probably because that it behaves too servile and humble and easily fulfills all requests.
A subjective approach by EU Member States does not encourage other countries to believe in the stated values of the EU, if practice visibly and consistently contradicts them.
Romania must have equal opportunities within the EU like the other member states by its inclusion in the Schengen area.
The National Union of Road Hauliers from Romania (UNTRR) is a professional and employer’s organization, non-governmental, independent, and apolitical, founded in 1990 on democratic principles, which promotes and defends the interests of road hauliers on national and international level, with more than 16,000 registered companies since its establishment – companies operating national and international transports of goods and passengers.