The Road Transport Conference took place at the Charlemagne Center of European Commission, on the 19th of April 2016 in Brussels, with the participation of more than 600 people, as delegates, associations, professionals of the transports sector and services, coming from every states of European Community, and also from the USA and the Asian East.
It was a whole day dedicated to the study and discussion, requested by the European Commission, to directly collect from the market and from those are constantly in contact with the transport services, new thoughts and ideas for the future.
Actually the Commission, since long time, is having some difficulties to promote the introduction of legislative measures that would be useful to regulate and solve the global issues about cabotage, the society headquarters and establishment, the detachment of traveling employees, salaries in the different countries, the rules regarding driving periods and rates of break and their interpretation, etc. etc.
These difficulties arise from two opposite factions created between states that want a change because they are suffering a lot of disadvantages from the current situation and, on the contrary, those that do not approve the change because they are obtaining many advantages in the present context.
The idea of the Commission, clearly explained by the transport Commissioner, Violeta Bulc, in her opening speech, it would be to overcome the current impasse by proceeding with gradual stages: the objective is to progressively modify the European world of transports, gaining the necessary authority of the improvements directly from those who work in this sector, as beneficiaries of the changes.
The scope of the Conference was to collect suggestions and ideas especially about some issues, already discussed during the first meetings, and considered more important and urgent:
- Next improvements of tachograph and unique interpretation of regulation about driving periods and rates of break (simplification and not new rules).
- Normative balance about driving periods and rates of break with the peculiarity of specific transport sectors.
- Drivers' working conditions, salary and international contracts, displacement in other countries of the EU.
- Pollution reduction (decarbonization of transports).
- Shell company (head office and establishment).
- Cabotage and globalization of transports.
- Light vehicles (lower than 35 quintals) and the related regulation.
- Encourage the rental of vehicles to ease the introduction of new unities less polluting, but also to facilitate the companies who have to dealing with temporary needs.
- More democratic management of terminals regarding the passengers transportation.
- Tolls application systems: on mileage or fruition times and on interoperability of different systems.
Claudio Carrano, creator of the GOLIA system, participated representing Infogestweb and the firms working in the people and freight transport sector. He highlighted some issues emerged from his cooperation with more than 500 companies and 20.000 drivers who make use of the GOLIA services:
- The law must be interpreted: it have to provide few and simple instruments to which all must refer during the interpretation of the rules.
- The training activity is fundamental to improve the knowledge and the interpretation of the rules, but it have to be done equally for the people working in the transport sector and for those working as controllers.
- It is necessary a uniform penalty system for all the member States of the EU to avoid the current confusion in the international context and to prevent some cases of convenience, sometimes occurred.
- Today it is possible to create an electronic register of companies, vehicles and drivers: it should become a relevant instrument, on one hand, to accelerate controls and to facilitate the recognition of those are not working correctly; while, on the other hand, to support the operators (and also the States) who act complying with the rules. If possible, providing also a rewarding mechanism or some penalties which could be applied on the tolls systems.
- Automatic and random inspections, together with warnings and alerts to the operators, with the exclusive scope to prevent the violations. On the contrary, the sanctions should derive only from lawful and professional controls to avoid ambiguity and punitive mechanisms which too often damage also the most sound activities.
The debate related to all these issues was really useful to collect many suggestions and advice. Michael Cramer, the Chairman of the Transport Commission in the European Parliament, facing the Commission, that has to concretely realize every project, incited everyone saying “Yes you can...and yes, you must!”.
The Conference ended with exhortation to participate at the public consultations, which will take place the next months to purpose to the citizens and the European operators the legislative formulation related to the present suggestions.
Cabotage n. Transport services provided in one member state of the EU by a carrier of another state. Article 71(formerly 75) of the Treaty of Rome provides that the Council of the European Union may lay down proposals in relation to the conditions under which nonresident carriers may operate transport services within a member state.