EU mobility package: Lithuania takes case to the ECJ ‒ others may join

The so-called mobility package, a comprehensive reform of the EU road transport sector, has met with considerable resistance.

The package will enter into force in stages between 2020 and 2025 and comprises a wide range of measures.

The first EU mobility package consists of:

  • a regulation on access to the market in the carriage of goods by road and the occupation of road transport operator (Regulation (EU) 2020/1055)
  • a regulation on maximum working hours and minimum rest periods for drivers and on positioning by means of tachographs (regulation (EU) 2020/1054)
  • a Directive revising the enforcement requirements and establishing rules on the posting of drivers (Directive (EU) 2020/1057)

These essentially comprise the following measures:

  • Drivers will no longer be allowed to spend their regular weekly rest period in the truck cabin.
  • Cabotage will be limited to three journeys. After that, the vehicle must leave the country for at least four days.  
  • Drivers are entitled to the national minimum wage for inland transport.
    For transit journeys and return journeys from the home country to another EU country with a maximum of two loading and unloading operations during the journey, this remuneration obligation does not apply. 
  • Drivers must return to the company’s country of establishment after three weeks at the latest, and vehicles must return every eight weeks at the latest.

The last point in particular has met with criticism. Instead of promoting the single market, there are fears that Western European competitors will be put at an advantage because it is unlikely to be profitable for transport companies from Eastern Europe to serve Western European markets if drivers and vehicles have to return to the home country at such short intervals.

Lithuania now plans to take the EU mobility package to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Other countries (such as Estonia) appear to want to join.

Sources:

  • Regulation (EU) 2020/1055 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 July 2020 amending Regulations (EC) No 1071/2009, (EC) No 1072/2009 and (EU) No 1024/2012 with a view to adapting them to developments in the road transport sector
  • Regulation (EU) 2020/1054 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 July 2020 amending Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 as regards minimum requirements on maximum daily and weekly driving times, minimum breaks and daily and weekly rest periods and Regulation (EU) No 165/2014 as regards positioning by means of tachographs
  • Directive (EU) 2020/1057 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 July 2020 laying down specific rules with respect to Directive 96/71/EC and Directive 2014/67/EU for posting drivers in the road transport sector and amending Directive 2006/22/EC as regards enforcement requirements and Regulation (EU) No 1024/2012

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