Labour MEP Alfred Sant has voted against new rules that restrict the mobility of drivers and will be administratively and financially burdensome for small trucking companies particularly those working from Europe’s periphery.
Th European Parliament has revised rules to improve the working conditions of drivers and to stop distortion of competition in road transport. Alfred Sant has supported a number of amendments that could have improved the package.
However, the mobility package has been divisive for the past years. Its biggest problem is the obligation for a truck to return to base every eight weeks, even if empty. This blatantly discriminates against Europe’s periphery.
Countries at the core of Europe have smaller distances and obstacles to face to return home for the same period. Also, the likely increase in the number of empty runs contradicts the purposes of the Green deal.
Malta supported the main objectives of the proposal: better social conditions for drivers, sustainability of road transport and proper functioning of the EU Single Market. However, one cannot support inflexible rules that restrict the mobility of drivers.
Indeed, the European Commission launched a detailed impact assessment to be concluded in autumn 2020, which demonstrates that doubts still remain about the whole process. Alfred Sant insisted that, In such conditions, adoption of the package sends an extremely negative signal and unnecessarily divides Member States in a crucial sector for the European economy.