At the Coreper I meeting held today, the European Commission clearly expressed its disappointment with the provisions laid down in the Mobility Package I, concerning the return of trucks to the countries of establishment, as well as with the other restrictions on combined transport. This was announced by Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Rossen Jeliazkov at an emergency briefing.
"We, the like-minded states, continue to insist that these measures are disproportionate and discriminatory. It is still possible for Member States not to adopt these texts. Representatives of Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Hungary, Cyprus, Malta and Estonia stressed the lack of impact assessment at European level of the provision on the return of a vehicle, ”said Rossen Jeliazkov.
The Minister drew attention to the serious divergence in EU policies on the Mobility Package I and the reduction of harmful emissions from vehicles. "Returning a vehicle is a measure that is not in line with the targets set in the Green Pact and the desire to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. These provisions are not part of the Commission's initiative proposal, nor have a proper impact assessment been carried out", the Minister emphasized.
Rossen Jeliazkov also said that the EC is about to submit a formal written declaration stating its position. The EC also expressed its intention to commission a climate impact assessment of the truck return measure and on the functioning of the single market. As a result of this assessment, the Commission reserves its right to propose new legislative solutions.
"For us, the text of this declaration will be extremely important and at what point in the legislative process the EC intends to carry out the requested impact assessment", Rossen Jeliazkov said.
The Minister explained that the procedure for the final adoption of the Mobility Package I had not yet been completed. The vote on the preliminary agreements reached between the Finnish Presidency and the EP would be held at Coreper I on December 20, 2019. According to preliminary information, on January 21, 2020 is the affirmative vote in the EP's Committee on Transport and Tourism, with the last vote in the Committee on Transport and Tourism expected to be possible on April 21, 2020. The EP will then vote in second reading. Upon adoption of the Package in EP, publication in the Official Journal of the EU in May 2020 is realistically expected. After the publication, an 18-month deadline for entry into force of the provisions on access to the profession and the market, as well as lex specialis on secondment, will begin.
"The EC declares its intention to launch an impact assessment, which does not mean that in parallel the Bulgarian side will not bring a case before the EU Court of Justice. We want to make it clear that our position is tough. We are increasingly encouraged that, with our statements and approach, the EC follows the basic principle of policy synchronization and proportionality to all Member States. We believe that the issue of non-discrimination between countries will also be part of the Commission's argument in the impact assessment", said Rossen Jeliazkov firmly.