Ahead of the European Parliament vote on Mobility Package 1 on Thursday, IRU calls on Members of the European Parliament not to lose sight of fundamentally important principles for the road passenger and freight transport industry, professional drivers, the economy and society.
IRU remains supportive of compromise solutions but urges to respect four main principles to ensure the successful functioning of the internal market and safeguard European jobs:
- 1. Enforceability: Rules have to be transparent and enforceable for the authorities.
- 2. Simplicity: Rules have to be simple for road transport companies. A patchwork of 28 solutions is not workable for transport operators and for drivers.
- 3. Flexibility: Rules have to be flexible enough for operators and drivers, whilst guaranteeing safety.
- 4. Passenger transport specific rules: the distinct nature of the bus & coach business, at the service of millions of EU passengers, has to be recognised by tailored provisions on driving time and posting.
Road transport requires sufficient flexibility, including in the area of driving and rest times, in order to meet the demand of customers and society. Companies and drivers can only mutually benefit if this correlation is clear to all decision makers. According to national surveys, for example carried out by BGL in Germany in 2018, the majority of drivers (51% out of 4056 drivers surveyed) ask for more flexibility on driving and rest times.
Matthias Maedge, leading IRU's activities in the EU, says: “Our industry is as concerned about the safety and wellbeing of the drivers as the trade unions. This is the reason why it is important to understand the profession and mobility needs in cross-border and international transport. A driver should be able to return within a 4-week reference period. This would also allow operators to adapt their activities, to be able to complete EU-round trips of up to three weeks. Calling for less flexibility will only deteriorate the situation in European parking areas. Although some of the current proposals on driving and rest times fall short of our expectations, they mark a good starting point for trilog negotiations.”