Nine countries including Poland petition EP over Mobility Package

Nine EU states, including Poland, have protested to the European Parliament (EP) against what they call protectionist and discriminative regulations in the EU's Mobility Package, the Polish Infrastructure Ministry announced on Wednesday.

The petition, whose signatories protest against some of the package's rulings as destructive for the EU transport market, precedes the EP's planned vote on the Mobility Package I legislation at a plenary session on July 8-10.

Alongside Poland, the petition was signed by Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Romania and Hungary.

Polish Infrastructure Minister Andrzej Adamczyk said Poland was involved in the protest because it wanted to "actively oppose the introduction of these regulations, which are bad for the EU and its unity."

Among others, the signatories criticise the package's obligation for foreign truckers to report to the country where their employers are seated once every eight weeks, new restrictions on cabotage freighting and raised selectiveness in the commissioning of freighting jobs.

The signatories also point to the new laws' possible negative environmental impact, and warn that they could upset the single market, as they put some countries before barely surmountable barriers and exclude others from the market altogether.

They also point out that the Mobility Package I regulations were prepared before the coronavirus epidemic, which has changed international commercial relations.

In their petition, the nine signatories also point to the package's incompatibility with the European Green Deal project, and voice hope that the parliament will revise the questioned regulations.

In early June, the EP's Transport Committee backed the Mobility Package.

The EU Mobility Package is a set of proposed laws to regulate road transport in the EU. Foreseen, among others, are changes in wage tariffs for foreign-delegated truckers, who will have to be paid according to the tariffs in the countries they have been sent to. The regulation has been protested against by freighters in Central and Eastern Europe, including Poland, who fear the new wage laws will force them to raise prices and withdraw from their low-cost service strategy.

One of the more controversial regulations obliges truckers to return to the country in which their employer is seated once every eight weeks. Others limit cabotage options and forbid drivers to sleep in their vehicles' cabins.

In late March, Poland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Hungary, Malta, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania appealed to the EP and European Commission to halt work on the mobility laws. The protest was later joined by Belgium. Work on the package, however, continued.

Some of the mobility package's regulations will come into force 18 months after publication, others after 20 days.