In the internal market for commercial road transport certain rules are unclear and implemented differently across the Member States. The opinion focuses on the legislative proposals that aim to guarantee fair competition and protect the rights of workers and improve their social situation. It should also reduce unnecessary administrative burdens for road hauliers and it looks into harmonised enforcement of the rules as well as increased and quicker cooperation between enforcement authorities to fight "letterbox companies" and illicit employment practices.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- congratulates the European Commission on its efforts to deepen the single market in the international road transport sector, under conditions of social fairness and convergence of working arrangements, an essential factor for economic, social and territorial cohesion;
- highlights the need, while ensuring the sustainability and competitiveness of the transport sector in the single market, to guarantee decent working conditions and a high level of road safety. Equal pay for equal work in the same place should also be applied in the European transport sector, while taking into account the needs of more peripheral regions;
- in order to simplify the procedure, suggests considering a weighted daily allowance as a possible solution: this would be paid to drivers in accordance with the country providing the transport work combined with the country where the headquarters of the transport company are located. In order to calculate this allowance, use could be made of the proven classification of Member States on the basis of per capita GDP, in exactly the same way as when implementing cohesion policy;
- welcomes the attempt to introduce clearer rules on cabotage and posting of drivers in a sector of the economy that is key to achieving a single market with a high level of mobility. Since cabotage and the posting of drivers are closely linked, discussion and adoption of new rules on them must take place in parallel;
- welcomes the clarification of the conditions for entering the transport profession and the measures to counter the emergence of letterbox companies;
- urges for the acceleration of the introduction of smart tachographs by transport companies and the technology to read them remotely by enforcement authorities;
- given the prospect of future digital and technological developments in transport, calls for the active encouragement of up-skilling of the workforce;
- underlines that Member States on the periphery face greater difficulties in attempting to reach the core of the EU internal market.