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IRU meets Commissioner Vălean on EU transport and mobility developments

23 May 2023 · People

IRU has met with EU Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean at a crucial time in the development of important social, environmental and digitalisation files related to road transport.

IRU President Radu Dinescu and EU Advocacy Director Raluca Marian met with EU Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean to discuss current issues and future developments in the transport of people and goods across Europe.

The shortage of drivers was first on the agenda. IRU expressed its hope that the EU’s severe driver shortage can be tackled by giving new talent access to the profession and improving drivers’ working conditions. 

IRU called for the Commissioner’s support in discussions with EU legislators on the revision of the EU Driving Licence Directive and for new funding to build safe and secure parking areas across the EU.

The revision of the Driving Licence Directive should give young people access to the driver profession by setting 18 as the default minimum age for truck drivers and opening the bus and coach profession to young drivers. 

Furthermore, the revision should facilitate the access of third-country professional drivers to the EU labour market by harmonising the conditions for the recognition of both driving licences and certificates of professional competence.

IRU welcomes the Commissioner’s focus on improving drivers’ working conditions and support, including financially, for the development of safe and secure parking areas across the EU.  

IRU meets Commissioner Vălean on EU transport and mobility developments

Concerning environmental matters, while reiterating transport operators’ commitment to decarbonising, Radu Dinescu and Raluca Marian outlined the industry’s concerns regarding the Commission’s ongoing analysis of the possibility to set mandatory targets for private companies to purchase zero-emission vehicles. 

Such level of state interference in private companies’ choices may substantially distort markets and breach fundamental ownership rights. IRU counts on Commissioner Vălean’s careful consideration of the negative repercussions of such an initiative on the commercial transport sector, as opposed to a strategy which avoids compulsion on private road carriers.  

IRU also welcomes Commissioner Vălean’s understanding and consideration of low-hanging fruits – such as the facilitation of transport by bigger vehicles through the revision of the weights and dimension rules – which can accelerate the decarbonisation of road transport. 

IRU President Radu Dinescu said, “We appreciate Commissioner Vălean’s excellent knowledge and interest in a well-functioning EU road transport sector.”

“We count on her timely choice of files – such as the revisions of the driving licence rules, the driving and rest times for coach drivers, or weights and dimensions – which are worth being pursued during her mandate, as well as her critical analysis of risky files, like binding purchasing mandates for private commercial fleets, for our sector and society at large,” he added.