Cabotage, rest times in cabin and tachograph rules are dividing Europe
The proposal from the Austrian presidency of the EU to "unclog" the debate has not created a consensus among the member states, who can be divided into three blocks: central countries, peripherals and Eastern countries.
Europe is increasingly failing to reach a consensus on implementing a true common transport policy. After a year of debating the European Legislative Mobility Package, the proposal from the European Commission to move forward in this regard was rejected by the Plenary of the European Parliament last June, due to disagreements between the different Parliamentary Groups representing their national interests.
Since then the Austrian authorities, current holder of the rotating presidency of the European Union, have tried to resolve the situation. The last initiative at the beginning of October 2018 attempted to find a consensus regarding displaced workers, driving and rest times, cabotage and mandatory introduction of the new intelligent digital tachograph.
According to Fenadismer* reports from European Council sources, the Austrian proposal far from resolving the situation has led to a new confrontation between the member states, who seem to have formed three blocks relative to the national interests represented. According to this association, a group of central and peripheral countries has been set up. Another group is made up of Eastern European countries and a third from Western countries.
It is difficult to reach a consensus given that each country, depending on the issues to be negotiated, varies its defended positions. Countries are able to jump from one block to another without seeing any contradiction. For example, the proposal to limit the realization of a new cabotage period, 14 days would need to have elapsed since the last cabotage, are opposed mainly by Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The same controversy raises the prohibition of normal weekly rest times taking place on board the vehicle, where western countries will not make an exception even if the vehicle is parked in a safe, equipped Parking Area.
Where there seems to be greater consensus is in the introduction of the new smart tachograph from 2024, to which both the central and peripheral countries and those of the East are opposed, if it is to be mandatory for all vehicles from that date. Unlike the western countries who are in favor of this regulation.
It seems obvious that the negotiations will end without agreement, so it will fall to the Romanian presidency in the first half of 2019 to create a new impetus for agreement on the European Mobility Package.
*Fenadismer (National Federation of Transport Associations of Spain), is a group representative of small and medium transport companies, it was formed to actively tackle problems in the sector.
- European Legislative Mobility Package
- European Commission
- Common transport policy
- Rest time periods
- Intelligent digital tachograph