The Minister of Transport Tālis Linkaits, together with the transport ministers of eight other European Union Member States, addressed the EU Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean with a request to suspend several provisions included in the so-called the Mobility Package temporarily, including the requirement to return the vehicle to its country of establishment at least once every 8 weeks.
The ministers of transport of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Hungary, Malta and Romania pointed out in a letter that Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has not only shaken political stability, but will also have a negative impact on the EU economy and transport sector in the long run.
The already existing shortage of professional lorry drivers in Europe will only increase in the future, given that many Ukrainian citizens working in the sector so far have gone home to defend their homeland. At the same time, the demand for transport services in Europe is growing, companies are adapting to the new situation and looking for new transport and supply chains for their plants, in addition to which the large flow of refugees and the need to organize humanitarian loads pose significant logistical challenges.
The ministers emphasize that in this difficult situation, every journey, every lorry driver is valuable and cabotage must be organized as efficiently as possible, avoiding unnecessary diversions and without overburdening strategic transport corridors, which are also essential for the delivery of humanitarian goods to Ukraine.
Consequently, the requirement in the Mobility Package taking effect on 21 February this year for the vehicle to return to its country of establishment every eight weeks, which creates both additional emissions and additional burdens for the industry that has started to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic but is now subject to unprecedented challenges.
Therefore, in a letter to the European Commission, the transport ministers ask that certain requirements of the Mobility Package, which affect the efficiency of the freight sector, be suspended until the end of Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine and the normalization of the situation.