“The latest proposals of the European Commission in the field of road haulage favour protectionist market measures, and may result in significant extra expenditures and administrative burdens for the Central-Eastern-European businesses active in the sector. The planned regulations deteriorate European competitiveness, endanger jobs, and cause a rise in the price of haulage services where consumers are clearly at the receiving end”, Róbert Homolya, Minister of State for Transport Policy stated at the meeting of the Transport Council held on 8 June 2017 in Luxembourg.

The Commission informed the ministerial leaders of the Member States about its mobility package released on 31 May 2017. According to its planned programme, the upcoming Estonian Presidency will treat legislative proposals relating to the transportation of goods and passengers as well as proposals targeting the social rights and security of those working in the sector as priorities, on which issues they wish to make significant progress.

The head of the Hungarian delegation welcomed the aspiration that, with its initiative, the Commission seeks to address the deficiencies that lead to the fragmentation of the EU’s internal road haulage market. At the same time, he pointed out that, based on a preliminary review of the recently released draft, it is already possible to identify a number of provisions giving rise to concern.

Mr Homolya stressed: the extension of the effect of the Directive concerning the Posting of Workers and the implementation directive to road haulage continues to remain unacceptable for Hungary. The contemplated new rules may create disruptions in the European supply chain, and may detrimentally affect small and medium-sized businesses as well as the citizens of the EU. He added that the Hungarian Government is ready to proactively participate in the negotiation of the Mobility Package in the interest of finding a proportionate solution which can be conveniently applied in practice and which strikes a balance between the freedom of the provision of services and the social protection of workers.

Before the meeting of the Council, the representatives of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia issued a joint statement in favour of the simplification of the relevant regulations and more effective action against abuses. They laid down in full agreement that they are only willing to support justified and proportionate restrictions to the degree which is absolutely necessary.

Participants of the meeting also dealt with the issues of connected and autonomous vehicles, inter alia. The Minister of State said: Hungary has a vested interest in the future development of cross-border testing, as well as in the establishment and development of trans-European test corridors. The Zalaegerszeg test course which is currently being built will permit the development and testing of intelligent transport systems, including the background infrastructure, integrating them with the development opportunities inherent in smart cities. Mr Homolya announced: Hungary as part of its upcoming V4 Presidency will organise a two-day summit and conference in Budapest in January 2018. The main purpose of the event is to demonstrate the region’s commitment to the digital transformation of European industry.

(Ministry for National Development, Communication Division)