UNTRR requires the Romanian and European authorities to urgently take measures to determine French and Belgian authorities to immediately withdraw their recent national regulations on the introduction of severe fines and penalties applicable in case drivers spend their weekly rest period in vehicles. UNTRR requires the French government to call for the immediate cancellation of these measures conflicting with the fundamental values of the EU! Otherwise, we recommend France to leave the EU!
UNTRR addresses the Romanian government and the European Commission for emergency measures for the immediate withdrawal of the new anti-European and anti-competitive regulations recently introduced by France and Belgium, regarding the severe fines and penalties applicable in case drivers spend their weekly rest period in vehicles.
- On 21st of June 2014 Belgium adopted a new royal decree which forbids spending the regular weekly rest in the cabin of the vehicle. The fine for not complying with this regulation can reach to 1800 Euro.
- On 11st of July 2014 France adopted Law no.2014-790 to combat social and unfair competition, which forbids professional drivers to spend the regular weekly rest in the cabin of the vehicle. Failure to comply with this law is considered a serious offence which is fined with 30 000 Euro and one year imprisonment.
Our association is seriously concerned about such legal approaches, at national level, of the European Regulation no. 561/2006 whose aim is, actually, the harmonization of certain social legislation relating to road transport, in the spirit of the liberalization of the European road transport market.
It is unacceptable that certain Members States to adopt such protectionist measures, promoted with the single purpose to become a tool used against European competition in the field of transport. These initiatives, adopted under the popular umbrella of fighting against the social dumping, introduce national protectionism which is totally against the values and principles of European single market. From this perspective, such national initiatives should be condemned as they are against the spirit of the European Union and its aim on the medium and long run – the single market.
The measures taken by Belgium and France exceed any other penalty, being very restrictive, inadequate to the committed infringement, certainly disproportionate and definitely discriminatory as they are not applicable to the resident transport operators, which obviously are not spending their weekly rest in the cabin of the vehicle, but at home.
Moreover, these possible fines don’t affect road transport companies and professional drivers only, but they threaten also the goods of billions of Euros which they carry every day. Some members of our association as well as Polish carriers reported similar incidents produced in a parking lot in France, where they were blown trailer tires during the drivers’ night rest. However, instead of taking more safety measures within the parking lots in order to reduce the number of such incidents, the French Government introduces protectionist measures against foreign transport operators which could only inflame such vandal behaviors in road transport field.
In the light of all the above mentioned facts, we strongly believe that there is an urgent need of clarification at European level and we consider that Romania, along with the other Member States and with the European Commission, should not tolerate such approaches of another Member State, which either behaves normally, or it withdraws from the European Union. Otherwise, we risk the escalation of a competition between Member States, where fines can reach hundreds of thousands of Euros and decades in prison for offenses established at national level and not by European legislation, especially that such national rule will be applied only to foreigners, the residents spending their weekly rest at home.
UNTRR has asked the European Commission to urgently undertake all necessary legal and institutional arrangements for dialogue to determine French and Belgian authorities to immediately withdraw recent measures, heading for the transport companies from the other member states and with direct impact on those from Eastern Europe.
UNTRR required the Romanian government to actively represent the interests and rights of Romanian road transport operators so that they won’t be fined abusively, based on the national legislations of certain Member States which provide extremely disproportionate penalties to the committed infringement.
UNTRR is a professional NGO which defends and promotes the interests of the hauliers. UNTRR assumes the role of being the main partner for social dialogue in the road transport sector level.