17 May 2024


On 14 May, the European Commission issued a reasoned opinion on the complaint brought by the Italian government over the road restrictions in the Brenner Region.

The Commission considers that certain measures in force in Austria restrict the transportation of goods on the A12 and A13 motorways, and consequently the free movement of goods set out in Articles 34 and 35 of the TFEU. The incriminated measures include a night driving ban, a sectoral driving ban targeting certain goods with ‘rail affinity', a winter ban on Saturdays and the rationing of heavy-duty vehicles entering the motorway (known as ‘dosing'). 

Despite taking note of the Austrian government's arguments based on environmental considerations, the Commission finds that the Austrian measures lack consistency and therefore cannot be justified in their entirety on the grounds of achieving their intended objectives (environmental protection, road safety, fluidity of traffic or security of supply). In addition, the EC considers that measures are more likely to affect foreign undertakings compared to Austrian ones.

The Italian Ministry of Transport welcomed the EC reasoned opinion in a press release and confirmed that the government will refer the case to the Court of Justice of the EU. CLECAT also welcomes this development and hopes the Court will follow the Commission's opinion which would help solve the issue of severe road restrictions in the Brenner region. CLECAT has brought the issue to the attention of Commissioner Valean and DG MOVE over recent years, notably in an open letter from March 2021.

Source: European Commission