16 May 2013

CLECAT urges Commission not to abandon its ambition for a European Single Transport Area

Following statements from the Commission earlier this week, CLECAT calls on Vice-President Siim Kallas to do his utmost to ensure that its policy proposals on cabotage reflect the goals for a European Single Transport Area. Recognising that the political will may not be ready to accept a move to full liberalisation, CLECAT continues to call for a gradual and flexible opening of the road cabotage market which is accompanied by further harmonisation of social legislation and enforcement procedures. The fact that the Commission calls for more time certainly does not mean that its mid- and longer term goals are abandoned; the Commission has clearly said that the current cabotage restrictions go against the spirit of a European Single Market which guarantees the rights of all citizens to work, travel and trade freely.

Nicolette van der Jagt, Director General of CLECAT, said: 'the voices of opposition to liberalisation will not go away, but we expect the Commission to make proposals in line with the long term needs of the Union with respect to its economic development and competitiveness in the face of the fast increasing global competition. The enhancement of such industrial growth through improved efficiency in the logistics chain is vital. The restrictions to cabotage prevent an optimal matching of transport offer and demand. Therefore, and in line with a number of recent studies, a different approach to the "3 in 7" rule should be considered through the removal of the maximum number of cabotage operations (3) allowed in 7 days and a revision of the provision that requires the full unloading of international carriage before a cabotage operation.

At the same time, following years of debate and consultation on the issue, we are confident that the Commission is in a position to propose measures to ensure greater cooperation and exchange of information between national and international bodies responsible for enforcement of road legislation to ensure better enforcement.

We regret that further delay on these issues will only delay a more rapid pan-EU harmonisation of the rules governing the sector and the creation of a true Single European Transport Area.

For more information:

Nicolette van der Jagt

Director General