THIRD TRILOGUE ON EUROVIGNETTE DIRECTIVE
The next round of negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council on the Eurovignette Directive will take place on Tuesday 15 June. This will be the last meeting under the Portuguese Presidency of the Council and is perceived as the last chance for the co-legislators to agree on the revision of the Directive. While negotiators already agreed on a number of provisions that have been discussed in informal technical meetings, some political issues need to be resolved in order to reach an agreement:
The Portuguese Presidency reported at the Transport Council on the 3rd of June that the Council has recently concentrated on finding a compromise on the controversial transitional obligation from time-based toll systems (vignettes) to distance-based systems. This is considered as the deal-breaker for the Presidency, as the European Parliament wants to phase out this system completely, whereas some Members States such as Sweden, Austria, Estonia and Latvia call for flexibility for their national (time-based) systems.
The Council's proposal to introduce variation of tolls for heavy-duty vehicles according to their CO2 emissions, backed by the Commission, is still not supported by some political groups in the Parliament. Some MEPs prefer an adjacent emission trading system (ETS) covering road transport. With difficulties to find a majority, there is a growing risk that negotiations will break down without agreement. As a potential consequence, Member States which have toll discounts for electric and hydrogen trucks (e.g. Austria, Germany, Ireland) would not be supported, and other Member States would also not be supported to bring in such discounts (e.g. Denmark, the Netherlands, etc) and the plans for greener vignettes (time-based tolls) would also be lost.
CLECAT urges lawmakers to agree on the revision of the Eurovignette Directive and considers the provision on the variation of tolls for heavy-duty vehicles according to their CO2 emissions vital.