TRAN vote on Mobility Package 1 is crucial for the future of the European road transport market and EU economy and needs to be based on a thorough impact assessment

Dear Madam,

Dear Sir,

Distinguished Member of the European Parliament,

The National Union of Road Hauliers from Romania (UNTRR) is a professional, employers’, non-governmental organization, grouping 16.000 members, which are companies performing domestic and international transport of goods and passengers by road.

On 8 June you will be voting on the tabled amendments and the draft recommendations for second reading for the three social and market access files of Mobility Package I. Your vote is of utmost importance for the future of the European road transport market and implicitly for all EU economies.

In an attempt to save the functioning of the EU’s road transport market on non-discriminatory basis, and in absence of a thorough impact assessment, we urge you to consider all the implications of the Mobility Package as it stands now, and to postpone any decision thereon. There are major unanswered questions about the proposed new rules, such as:

·    What is the connection between mandatory return home of the truck every eight weeks, the social conditions and the environment protection?

The impact of this obligation on the market and the environment has been completely ignored in the process of elaborating the Mobility Package, despite its justification as a means of achieving the Green Deal. This obligation would not pose any problem for a truck registered in Germany or France, but for Romanian road transport industry, the mandatory return home of the truck would result in an average of six lost days every eight weeks, which translates into 10 to 14% business loss. Returning to Romania every eight weeks would mean an extra 1,000 trucks daily on European roads and at borders, without any valid economic justification. This measure will lead to additional 1,160 tons of CO2 emissions / day or 418,000 tons / year. Moreover, the risk to road safety would increase exponentially because of the additional traffic.

The UNTRR has made a preliminary assessment (details here), but we urge the EU institutions concerned to thoroughly assess the environmental and economic impact of the mandatory return home of the trucks every eight weeks, before adopting Mobility Package 1!

·    Why limiting the free choice of drivers to spend their weekly rest wherever they want?

The obligation imposed on companies to organize the return of their drivers in a particular place contradicts (to say the least) the fundamental freedoms of the EU, according to which the driver shall be free to choose the destination/location for his rest period. More than 60,000 drivers will have to return home every 3 or 4 weeks, which will require increasing the transport capacity and according to estimations that would mean up to 400 new flights or 1200 coaches or a mix between these two to carry 2000 up to 3000 drivers daily.

·    What are the consequences of artificially increasing the cost of companies by prohibiting the regular weekly rest periods away from base to be taken in the vehicle?

There is a proven shortage of safe, properly equipped and secure parking areas on the main European road network, hence banning the rest in the cabin may even put the trucks and their load at risk. This is notably valid in the current circumstances (post COVID-19 pandemic long-term phase) in which sleeping in cabin would protect drivers’ health. Therefore, an obligation to take rest outside the cabin should only be imposed in connection with the availability of safe and secure parking places across the EU.

·    Why isn’t the concept of reference cost introduced in the Mobility Package 1?

Today, for the same transport operation performed in the Western EU, the Eastern hauliers are paid bellow 1 euro per km, while Western ones are paid 1.5 euro per km i.e. 50% more. Despite repeated requests addressed by UNTRR to the European Commission to investigate and analyze the significant differences between the tariffs for services provided on the same markets, at the same standards of quality, professionalism, reliability and predictability, nothing has happened.

Since the publication of the draft Mobility Package 1 in 2017, UNTRR has asked the EU institutions to introduce therein the establishment of an European impartial mechanism, based on measurable criteria and data. Such a mechanism could be similar to the reference transport cost calculated by CNR in France (www.cnr.fr) in order to guarantee equal conditions for the provision of transport services. In European road transport the total cost of transport for clients should be composed of the reference cost plus a margin of each road transport company.





·    Do Easterners take the Westerners’ jobs, or rather do their jobs?

According to IRU report - 2019, the key cause of the worsening driver shortage is the public perception that working in the road transport industry is not attractive and this is particularly valid in Western countries like France, where 44% of the French respondents had a negative image of the sector. While Westerners are not attracted to work in road transport as it requires spending long periods of time alone and away from home, Easterners do their job and consider the cabin of the truck as their second home - but Mobility Package 1 aims to stop this.

Unlike for road transport, the agriculture sector admitted quite a long time ago the need for seasonal workers and there was no debate about working conditions and wages. It is difficult to believe that nowadays, in agriculture, more nationals of developed EU countries would be attracted to harvest strawberries or asparagus, even if the workers were paid 5,000 euro/month and the accommodation was insured. Not to mention the advantage of employers from those developed countries, who very often pay workers from Eastern Europe significantly less compared to their Western colleagues, despite working for the same company and doing the same job.

From the very beginning and during the elaboration of the Mobility Package, UNTRR endeavored to convince you that things in the road transport sector are far from being black or white and that the sector is essential for all economies, hence deserving objective approaches and analysis under all its angles.

The vote you will be giving on 8 June may result in either thousands of bankruptcies among small trucking companies and the division of the European road transport operators into “first-hand” operators and “second-hand” operators, based on their nationality, or in a well-functioning road transport market, based on free competition. This is now in your hands.

We remain available to cooperate with all those interested to make a decision founded on facts and realities of our times, to the benefit of our countries.


Please accept, dear Madam, Sir, the expression of my consideration.


Constantin ISAC

UNTRR President

Ultima modificare a paginii: 08.06.2020


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