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V4 haulage reps unite against ‘measures restricting competition’

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Leaders of road haulage federations in the Visegrád Four countries have adopted a joint declaration against Western European measures restricting competition, according to a press statement sent to the Budapest Business Journal. Representatives met in Budapest on April 21.

A common position against measures restricting competition on the markets of the European Union was adopted in Budapest by leaders of the largest business federations of road haulage and passenger transport companies operating in the Visegrád Four countries - Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Their proposals were summed up in a declaration signed on Friday in front of representatives of the press.

As reported by the BBJ earlier, this was the first instance that experts and top officials of the Association of International Road Transport Carriers in Poland (ZMPD), Česmad Bohemia from the Czech Republic, Česmad Slovakia and the host Hungarian Road Transport Association (MKFE) have sat down together at the negotiating table. The four business federations represent about 10,000 businesses operating 172,000 trucks and trailers in the Visegrád countries.

The haulage capacity represented by the participating organizations is indispensable in maintaining the supply chain of the European Union, the press statement notes. Eastern European carriers have an almost exclusive share in the supply of basic materials to production facilities in Eastern Europe and the delivery of their finished products to the market, it adds.

Among other issues, the delegates arrived at a common position concerning charges of “social dumping and unfair competition” leveled against Eastern European road hauliers by their Western European counterparts having formed an alliance in road transportation. The above allegations have been made in spite of the fact that the said hauliers have operated in full compliance with Community and national legislation, says the press statement.

“The participants concluded that the implementation of protectionist measures adopted by various Western European countries in order to restrict competition by Eastern European transport operators would result in a significant price increase in Community member states, putting hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk across the eastern part of the Community,” according to the press statement sent to the BBJ.

Participants “firmly request” a moratorium on already adopted national legislation, while encouraging the adoption of common legislation that may be incorporated into the road package, creating reasonably acceptable conditions for all transport operators across the European Union.

The document was signed on Friday in the presence of representatives of the press by ZMPD Chairman Jan Buczek, MKFE President György Wáberer (who is also commissioner for road haulage and logistics developments appointed by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán), Josef Melzer, Vice President of Česmad Bohemia, and Pavol Hudák, Vice Chairman of Česmad Slovakia.

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