PositionMembers of the European Parliament

The European Parliament's Transport Committee is likely to try to lighten the obligations that would be imposed on transport companies by the draft regulation on conditions to be complied with to pursue the occupation of road transport operator. The proposal was presented in April 2007 as part of the wider road transport package and is meant to replace Directive 96/26/EC on access to the profession. MEPs, however, are concerned about the costs the new text could create for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises. In any case, the representatives of several different political groups hinted as much during a debate by the Transport Committee on 26 February in Brussels, including rapporteur Silvia-Adriana Ticau (PES, Romania; in a text read by a colleague, since Ticau is currently hospitalised), Corien Wortmann-Kohl (EPP-ED, Netherlands) and Anne Elisabet Jensen (ALDE, Denmark). All seem to believe that the Commission's proposal errs on the side of caution and could result in useless red tape for companies.


One of the basic ideas of the new regulation is to professionalise' road transport activities and to limit the phenomenon of drivers working under false self-employment. The Commission aims to require transport firms to appoint a transport manager' charged with running the company's activities (accounting, supervision of transport contracts, management of the fleet of vehicles, etc). A self-employed driver will be able to appoint another person to carry out these tasks, but the proposal strictly limits the number of self-employed drivers and the vehicles with which this manager would be authorised to work. The rapporteur intends to push that limit well beyond what the Commission proposes, however. The amendment Ticau plans to table would allow a...

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