Lithuania: Legal action against EU mobility package

Lithuania brings two cases before the ECJ ‒ the first time Lithuania has taken such a step.

As expected (https://www.bnt.eu/en/?option=com_content&view=article&id=3083&catid=219), the Republic of Lithuania has filed two actions against the new EU mobility package with the European Court of Justice (ECJ). At the same time, a request has been made to suspend the current provisions pending a ruling.

The first action challenges the requirement for vehicles to return to the place of the transport company’s establishment every 8 weeks and the four-day “cooling-off” period after cabotage operations (after three cabotage operations, the vehicle must leave the country for at least four days). It is feared that these rules will favour Western European competitors because it is unlikely to be profitable for Eastern European transport companies to serve Western European markets if drivers and vehicles have to return to their home country at such short intervals. On the other hand, Lithuania considers that the EU legislator has not provided sufficiently objective reasons to justify the need for these rules. Furthermore, environmental aspects have not been sufficiently taken into account in the decisions.

In addition, the obligation for drivers to return after three weeks would restrict their freedom of movement by limiting their choice to decide where to spend their free time between journeys.

In the second case, Lithuania is mainly challenging the provisions on the posting of workers. The new rules result in different treatment of international bilateral transport and cabotage transport operations. According to Lithuania, this distinction leads to different rules and social guarantees for employees, even though the nature of the work they carry out is the same.

Moreover, the deadlines set by the legislator for implementing the measures in the package are far too tight.

Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Malta and Poland have also joined Lithuania in bringing proceedings.

 

Source:

  • 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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