ECR MEPs: Road transport resolution will erode EU single market
Despite concerns raised by the ECR MEPs, the European Parliament today approved a resolution which calls for more protectionism in the road transport sector and risks fragmentation of the Single Market.
The Transport and Tourism (TRAN) committee’s resolution represents Parliament’s initial position on forthcoming legislative proposals. It focuses largely on so-called”social dumping”, the issue of drivers employed by firms from lower wage countries working in other Member States, but says little about the economic challenges facing the sector.
According to ECR TRAN committee coordinator Latvian Member Roberts Zīle, by concentrating “social dumping” without actually using those words, the process will erode EU single market
He said: “We in the ECR group have always been united in efforts promoting stronger single market and preserving free competition. In Europe we just can’t equalize every member state, their wages and their social issues. We have more developed and less developed countries and this doesn’t concern only Eastern Europe. Also EU peripheral member states just can’t gain the same market potential as ‘central’ countries.”
Mr Zile also questioned the call to create a European Road Transport Agency.
“Why do other MEPs still think that problems can be resolved by introducing another EU Institution, by throwing more Europe at the problem while knowing it will quite possibly simply work already being carried out by the Euro Contrôle Route? The attitude seems to be ‘We have a problem – let’s make a new agency.’ “
ECR Polish MEP Kosma Złotowski continued: “I agree that many things have to be done to improve security and standards of daily life of the truck drivers, but idea of creation of a new agency responsible for road transport is not a right solution”.
“We should not limit the dispute about the future of the European road transport sector only to social issues. In the last two years we shave seen many cases of violation of free competition in the EU, so firstly we need to ensure freedom of providing haulage services across Europe without any administrative barriers. Then we can go further.
“The stigmatisation of transport companies from Central and Eastern Europe is not a good way to build the common market. We are interested in cooperation with our partners in the EU but such cooperation should be based on the fair and not discriminatory rules.”