UNTRR letter to President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron

Dear Mr Macron,

Every enlargement of EU increased GDP/capita of the first 15 countries of EU.

Romania joining EU for France meant a new concept for automotive industry implemented by Renault at Dacia, which proved successful and later extended to other countries like Russia and Morocco, in order to provide better services to French customers - a better quality car for a more competitive price.

Free movement of capital, services and goods was in reality only one way road from France to Romania all these years. Free movement of persons meant only a selective import of qualified workforce by France from Romania in areas like medicine, engineering and various workers, etc.

We had the dream of EU single market in road transport. We still wish to achieve single market. But France is destroying this dream directly by national interpretations of European Rules unchanged for years and applied by almost all other member states as designed initially. France does not respect EU rules of club, and instead making its own rules to show everyone, that together with Germany they are the countries, which are making the rules: if so it would be more honest to divorce from EU, but your strength is coming from this EU with all its members. German Authorities on the contrary to French, are more open to dialogue, agreeing to disagree and responsive.  France is regretfully arrogant through its authorities, which almost never respond to any of requests of our industry. Even we do not agree with French national interpretations of EU legislation, we asked French authorities details about enforcement in order to help Romanian transport companies to understand and respect these rules.

We ask France to go for changing the rules of road transport in Brussels as European Capital and not as Belgium capital.

We ask You Mr Macron to confirm that France still maintains and stick to the goal of European Free Road Transport Market for 2020, which unfortunately does not look to be the case based on France neo-protectionist actions against foreigners.

Despite the existence of an open and competitive international road transport market, France instead trying to make its own companies more competitive, on the contrary tries to eliminate foreign competitors which are providing same quality at more efficient costs.

Instead of working at home for real solutions within the state, for employers and employees organisations, it is much easier to point out to foreigners.

This is not a real and long term solution. If you look at Uber, it is about French citizens from taxi companies against French citizens from Uber, striping the clients from the possibility to use a service they appreciate. You can forbid Uber, but you cannot forbid the concept and you cannot keep clients away forever from their real expectations and rights to have services in cheaper solutions.

Social dumping allegation towards Eastern EU is equally stupid or right as the financial dumping of the Western EU - these differences are both the realities of the large EU market and reflect the level of development of national economies as well as the living standards between countries like France and Romania.

Transport companies from France and Romania have exactly the same cost items - there are 7 brands of trucks, none produced in Romania, road tolling is the same, diesel fuel in the same part of Europe is the same, tyres brand or non-brand have the same cost, the only 2 items making a difference: total cost of labour and cost of money - interest to finance capital. First was a plus (not advantage) for Eastern companies - for which we are labeled with "social dumping" and the second is advantage for Western companies which we can label as "financial dumping".

If until last year in July,  total cost of labour was representing a plus for Eastern companies (not advantage because the income of the Eastern companies is 30-50% lower than Western companies) starting with July 2016 loi Macron started to apply the French salary cost also to Eastern companies performing international transport in France!

France is talking about equal payment for the same work in the same place! And this is standard for employees. We ask France to apply the same concept also for companies: the same payment for the same service in the same place!!!

Employees are employed and paid by companies. In order to be able to pay the same labor costs, companies should have the possibility to earn similar income (more than cost of reference as provided by cnr.fr)

Why not to apply Romanian law to Romanian companies? Why France consider it has the right to dictate unilaterally to others and to cancel their own national rules?

Why a French road transport company established in Romania should not be accepted to make international transports across Europe and you would like to remove the right to free establishment of these companies? Why a Romanian transport company should not be allowed to perform international transport operations in Europe? Where are the fundamental rights of EU?

The cost of money, interest for euro to finance capital of the companies is ~1% in France and >4% in Romania. France has a mature economy, while Romania a developing one, therefore needing more capital provided by banks with foreign capital - like SG. You in France, you do not want to read and do not care about this, but if you would be in position to pay tomorrow 5% interest to the banks - you will start to understand us.

France is not allowing drivers to sleep in truck cabins since 2014, based on national interpretation of European Regulation 561, which is unchanged since 2006. All 28 EU member states and EC accepted until 2014 drivers sleeping in truck cabin. France and Belgium do not accept anymore since 2014 and Germany starting with 2017. Who was right and who was wrong? And especially when? Are only the 3 countries right? Or all other 25 today? Or all 28 before 2014? Why not waiting to finalize the change of R561 which is currently reviewed by European Commission?

What is France intending to prove using this approach?

France is not providing a list with safe parking areas for trucks, close to accommodation facilities. France is not building more parking places, because French drivers sleep at home 45h and only foreigners are looking for parking areas with hotels - sometimes paying huge amounts if any events are taking place in that area.

France is not taking any measure to stop vandalism acts done against foreign trucks.

From different places of Europe, we can see the same problems from very different perspectives.

France is against letter box companies. We are too. But we are also against extreme interpretations: like the one saying that if the decisions are not taken in country of establishment, this is a letter box company. Everyone knows companies like Renault will take strategic decisions at home, thinking globally and acting locally. Still nobody should ever consider a subsidiary of Renault in Romania as a letter box company, just because the decisions for the models of the cars, quantities, specifications and markets to address are taken in France and not in Romania.

France wants drivers every 3 weeks at home. But why? Do we want drivers to have rest or to push them travelling to be tired? Why to tell a person what to do in his/her free time?

France wants to licence small vehicles less than 3,5t while complaining it does not have enough control authorities for existing commercial vehicles larger than 3.5t. The bad news is the small ones are 5 to 10 times more numerous as existing ones. The second is that vehicles from outside EU are complying with UN Regulations and not with EC Regulations.

We still believe together we can be stronger in a global world.

Today, we, as the EU, were lucky just because some of our world competitors are not doing well, situation which will not last forever.

We, as a Member State trusting in the EU,  would like to increase harmonisation, to enforce the rules in a non-discriminatory way and to liberalize the market.

A completely liberalised market will find the most natural equilibrium, under supervision of a correct and vigilant referee - which in our case should be control authorities.

It would be nice to have the courage, honor and dignity to let everyone know which way will continue France with European Union, as today it is proceeding with double standard, dishonest and opaque. As politicians from everywhere, we expect nice words from you, but the facts and your actions will indicate the reality.


Radu Dinescu

Secretary General


Last page edit: 08/24/2017


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