IRU and a number of national transport associations have once again called on the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to set a new round of negotiations between Germany, Italy and Austria to find a solution to the Brenner impasse.
In June 2023, several Member States voiced their serious discontent concerning the challenges facing the transport, transit and free movement of goods along the Brenner Pass through Austria.
The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had indicated last July that a solution to the Brenner issue is urgent, stating that another round of negotiations with Austria, Germany and France should identify the next steps.
Since then, unfortunately, the Commission has not acted. Road, rail and combined freight transport continue to face serious bottleneck situations on a frequent basis. In addition, Italy is threatening Austria with legal action.
IRU and a number of national transport associations have addressed another letter to the Commission President, urging her to intervene and speed up the negotiation process. If necessary, the Commission should undertake legal action against Austria to solve the Brenner issue.
IRU EU Advocacy Director Raluca Marian said, “We have an extremely serious issue on our hands with the Brenner impasse. There is a shortage of capacity in rail freight and combined transport. Truck operators looking to use combined transport are facing an impossible situation.”
Austria continues to impose very strict driving bans for heavy-goods vehicles transiting on the Brenner route.
On 3 October, Italy had a traffic jam exceeding 100km because Austria had blocked access to the Brenner route for heavy-goods vehicles.
For several years, IRU has asked the European Commission, the guardian of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union, to take legal action against Austria in order to force a respect of the principle of the free movement of goods.
The failure of the European Commission to take up its responsibility and act has only worsened the situation, increasing discontent in Austria and other EU Member States, as well as the road, rail and combined transport freight and logistics providers and their customers.
“A new round of negotiations should be organised without further delay. If this fails, the European Commission must take court action,” concluded Raluca Marian.