19 February 2021

New studies confirm Mobility Package 1 runs counter to the ambitions of the EU Green Deal

Today the European Commission has published the results of the studies it commissioned to assess the expected impacts of two specific aspects of Mobility Package I, adopted on 15 July 2020, namely the compulsory return of the vehicle to the Member State of establishment every eight weeks and the application of cabotage quotas on international combined transport operations. 

The study confirms what CLECAT has been warning of throughout the three-year negotiating process: the return obligation for lorries and the quotas imposed on the road legs of combined transport operations are likely to have negative effects, not only on the environment but also on the single market.  Nicolette van der Jagt, Director General, noted: 'CLECAT has been campaigning tirelessly against the new provisions introduced by the Council and European Parliament during the negotiations, as they will create more burden and business risks for freight forwarding companies and carriers. The new rules will also put the ambitious environmental objectives of the EU Green Deal at risk. We are therefore pleased that the Commission has called for an open dialogue with the co-legislators and will look for a new way forward.' 

Most importantly, the Commission’s analysis of the return obligation for vehicles shows that, in the scenario most likely to occur, this provision is likely to create additional journeys, potentially resulting in up to 2.9 million tonnes of additional CO2 emissions in 2023 (a 4.6% increase in international road freight emissions). Across the three scenarios examined, the increase in CO2 emissions ranges from 0.8% to 4.6%. At the same time, the study focusing on the cabotage quotas for international combined transport operations estimates that a widespread use by Member States of the option to introduce them could lead to an additional 397 000 tonnes of CO2 emissions and to potential negative long-term effects on rail and intermodal freight. Considering the results of both studies, these two provisions could result in up to 3.3 million additional tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, which is comparable to a year’s worth of total transport emissions in Estonia.

CLECAT therefore encourages the Commission to relaunch as soon as possible a discussion with the Member States, the European Parliament and all concerned parties on how to reconcile the Mobility Package I with the goals of a well-functioning internal market and the ambitions of the Green Deal. CLECAT also supports the recent recommendation made by UIIR, encouraging the Member States to abstain from the possibility to suspend the Article 4 of the Combined Transport Directive.  

For more information contact:

Nicolette van der Jagt 
Director General