Officials from the transport ministries of Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland and Lithuania have taken a unified stand in Brussels against planned measures affecting road haulage firms from countries outside of the European Union, the Ministry for Innovation and Technology said on Thursday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.
The planned measures would put all road haulage companies based in the EU at a competitive disadvantage, the ministry said.
A meeting of EU transport ministers in December cleared the Mobility Package for general debate, in spite of votes against by nine member states, including Hungary, the ministry noted. The package is a collection of three initiatives concerning the governance of commercial road transport in the European Union.
The European Parliamentʼs Committee on Transport and Tourism (EP Tran) is scheduled to vote on the Mobility Package 1 at a meeting on Thursday, and a plenary session of the EP is expected to decide on the matter at the end of January, it added.
Before the decisions, officials from the transport ministries of Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland and Lithuania met with European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport Violeta Bulc, as well as Karima Delli, the head of the EP Tran committee.
The national delegations argued that truck drivers should continue to be allowed to decide how to spent their rest time. They also said a total ban on spending rest periods in the cabs of their vehicles was impractical under the current circumstances.
"A realistic, balanced and implementable compromise is necessary, one that ensures protection for truck drivers at the same time as fair competition and free movement of services," said László Mosóczi, Hungarian minister of state for transport policy.
Exempting truck drivers who make cross-border deliveries from new directives on posted workers can boost the productivity of European companies, he added.