Analytics, EU – Baltic States, Modern EU, Transport, Truck haulage

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 02.07.2020, 12:28

Modernising European road transport: 3 “mobility packages”

Eugene Eteris, BC International Editor, Riga, 13.01.2020.Print version
The European commercial road transport employs over 10 million people, about 5% of total EU employment; it accounts for nearly half of all freight transport operations. EU passenger transport is expected to grow by 42% and freight transport by more than 60% up to 2050. Both two road transport sectors are hugely important for the EU's social and economic development: “mobility packages” ideas support the trend.

The European Commission’s three “mobility packages” since May 2017 represent a collection of vital initiatives putting forward major changes to the EU road transport rules. These proposals cover many aspects of transport industry's activities, from social to regulatory, to enforcement and to technical issues.

The EU “mobility packages, MPs” pave the way to the governance of commercial road transport on the EU states’ territory. They represent modern changes towards efficiency of the EU road transport rules, covering many aspects of the industry's activities.

The EU Mobility Packages, MPs

The EU MPs are addressing a number of road transport problems and aim at supporting specific developments within the European road transport sectors in the member states.

Most important of them include legislative aspects in the EU “packages”, such as: - harmonisation and simplification of the transportation rules resulting in better, more consistent enforcement in all EU states; - supporting social fairness and fair competition; - improving the environmental performance of road transport operations, and - encouraging innovations.  

The “mobility packages” were released in three steps: the first package, MP1 was adopted in May 2017 with a set of 8 legislative initiatives specifically concerning road transport. These proposals aimed, among others, at improving the functioning of the road haulage market; enhancing the employment and social conditions of workers; and promoting smart road-charging in Europe. The MP1 has been substantially amended by both the Council and European Parliament later on. However, experts acknowledges, some key modifications introduced by the two institutions have not been covered by any impact assessments despite anticipated disproportionate negative effects on “peripheral” EU member states (in Eastern and Central Europe) and the EU’s economy as a whole.

The second package was approved in November 2017 and the third one in May 2018.

More on 3 packages in:  

Additional information on EU transport issues in:


Three European “mobility packages”

Mobility Package 1, MP1 proposal covers the following areas: - Access to the road haulage market and access to the profession for passenger and freight transport operators; - Hired freight transport vehicles; - Road charging and electronic tolling; - Driving and rest time rules for drivers; - Posting of workers; - Enforcement issues; - Vehicle taxation; and - COmonitoring and reporting of Heavy Duty Vehicles.  

The following issues have been under severe discussion within the MP1

- Access to the profession and access to the road haulage market; 

- Hired vehicles without drivers for the carriage of goods by road

- Enforcement requirements in road transport

- CO2 monitoring and reporting of Heavy Duty Vehicles

- Road infrastructure charging

- Driving and rest times

- Posting of workers in passenger transport

Mobility Package 2 proposal covers the following areas: - Access to the bus and coach market; - Clean Vehicles Directive; - Combined Transport Directive; - COstandards for cars & vans; and - Battery initiative.

Under severe discussion within the MP2 were the following issues: 

- Clean Vehicles Directive

- Combined Transport; and

- Access to the bus and coach market


Mobility Package 3 proposal covers the following areas: - CO2 standards for Heavy Duty Vehicles; - Digitalisation of freight transport documents (all modes); - Deployment of advanced vehicle technology; and -Infrastructure safety management.  

The following issues have been under severe discussion within the MP3: 

- Heavy Duty Vehicle CO2 emissions reduction standards

- Electronic freight transport information

- Road safety.  



Comments about the EU transport perspectives

For example, European transport industry warns: the EU “mobility packages” are not to deliver on employees, businesses and climate. Other European studies revealed the lack of a number of fundamental steps that had not been taken into consideration over negotiations on MP1 and 2, including an impact assessment, which could have been of crucial concern in terms of social, economic and environmental impacts.

Some say, e.g. German experts, that mobility packages in general threaten the transport industry in numerous member states with mass jobs and business migration; others contemplate that the European haulers count on the Commission to take adequate steps in balancing mobility packages, MPs.  

Reference to “Free Transport” web-page at:    


The study of Gdansk University (2017) assessed the effect of MPs on Polish transport sector and other so-called peripheral or small EU member states. The conclusions showed that the MPs would reduce generally the number of transport operations by 7%, a number of trucks by 50% in small states and by 10% in larger operators. Totally, the operating cost would increase by 5% resulting in a situation where around 30% of transport companies would limit or even close their activities. Besides, the expected employment loss in transport in these “small Central and Eastern European, as well as other big states” would be about 20-30 per cent. In Lithuania alone, the loss of drivers would reach 35 thousand!


According to Latvian weekly « Business Today » (07.01.2020, pp. 7-8), Latvian transport sector in 2018 lacked qualified drivers for long-run haulers: the number of licensed cargo-operators reached 4743, the growth of about 6 per cent compared with 2017; in Lithuania the growth is even bigger! The way out is to “invite” drivers from the states outside the EU; however, Latvian legislation is not in favour of such moves…  


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