MEPs urge for a quick response to stop protectionism and to end the uncertainty in transport sector regarding minimum wage laws in Germany and France

Feb 17, 2017


At the instigation of the ECR Members from Slovakia, Bulgaria  and Latvia, an open letter has been addressed to the Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc  in reaction to the German and French law on minimum wage, particularly in the transport sector, and subsequent activities of other Member states in that regard such as Austria, for example.

“These countries are protecting their local markets against haulers from other Member States. It hampers free movement of goods and freedom to provide services. Failure of the Commission to act does not prove its objectivity,” said Slovak ECR MEP Richard Sulik, a Member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and the initiator of this letter.

ECR Vice-president and transport coordinator Roberts Zīle from Latvia noted that “The Single Market is the backbone of the EU. This fight against so called “social dumping” is nothing more than an act of protectionism that shutters the Single Market and devalues competition”. ECR MEP Dzhambazki also noted that this directly affects companies not only from Bulgaria, but also from a number of countries in Eastern Europe.

The letter signed by 58 MEPs stresses that Germany and France have protected their markets against operators from other Member states, thus restricting the freedom to provide services and free movement of goods defining the EU in a disproportionate manner. Moreover, because there is still no decision on the compliance with the corresponding laws even 2 years after the Commission has already launched the infringement procedure against Germany, similar approach towards protectionism has now been adapted by Austria as well.

Members ask the Commissioner to recognize the imminence of the matter and to take an immediate formal step without further delays to finally end this legal uncertainty where the hauliers must tolerate a significant increase of administrative red tape, organisational and financial costs, resulting in a situation, where they become increasingly uncompetitive throughout the Internal Market.