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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 29.11.2020, 19:06

Estonia attempting to hinder adoption of EU mobility package

BC, Tallinn, 06.07.2020.Print version
The transport ministers of Estonia and eight other countries sent an appeal to the European Parliament to prevent the adoption of the so-called road package, or mobility package, which infringes the principle of the single internal market, at next week's plenary session, the news portal of public broadcaster ERR reports, cites LETA/BNS.

According to the countries, the package would paralyze the competitiveness of transport companies.

One of the aims of the European Union's road transport reform, or the mobility package, is to ensure better working and social conditions for drivers. However, the island and peripheral countries of the European Union consider that the proposed restrictions discriminate against them and wrote to the European Parliament. This mainly concerns the obligation for the vehicle to return regularly to its home country.

"It does bring along additional costs. The driver must return every four weeks, the vehicle every eight weeks," Toivo Kuldkepp, head of the Association of Estonian International Road Carriers, said.

This is a long and expensive journey for the peripheral and island states of the European Union, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas, who signed the statement, said.

"This is simply true protectionism, meaning that Central European transport companies want to oust competitors from Eastern Europe or the periphery. And such a package will simply make the situation of these competitors more difficult," the minister said.

"For peripheral countries, including Estonia, this means that we are simply being pushed out of Europe and that our transport companies are simply being wiped out," Ermo Perolainen, head of the information department of the Association of Estonian International Road Carriers, said.

He added that no one would make any empty return trips and in such a case there would be no point in doing the work anymore.

Aas said that carriers could register their companies in Central Europe to escape high additional costs. According to Perolainen, it is not clear how the restrictions apply to third country carriers. If they are not affected by the restrictions, they have a competitive advantage.

Aas added that the package is supported by the old European countries, which found themselves in a strong competitive situation due to the new European countries and are trying to resolve the situation in this way.

In their letter, ministers point out that this is protectionism and should be abandoned.

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