RIGA - Latvia is not satisfied with the European Parliament's reform of the road transport sector, as it believes that it contradicts the European Union's (EU) climate, transport safety and single market policies, as the Transport Ministry's representative Vineta Kleine told LETA.
The initial goal of the reform, which was also supported by Latvia, was to clarify and improve the existing regulations, including social standards for truck drivers, ensure efficiency and sustainability of the road transport sector, efficient functioning of the EU's single market by removing national restrictions imposed by individual member countries, said Kleine.
During the discussions on the European Commission's proposals, Latvia tried to protect its national interests on all levels.
Latvia is not satisfied with the new regulation as it contradicts several EU policies - climate, road safety, single market and support for small and medium-sized enterprises, explained Kleine. At the same time, the Commission has said it would assess the impact of two elements of the regulation: the obligation for trucks to return to the country of registration every eight weeks and restrictions on combined transport. These matters were not in the Commission's original proposal and their impact has not been assessed yet. Kleine said that, depending on the results of the Commission's assessment, these two elements could be amended.
According to the Transport Ministry, several EU member countries have said that they would contest several provisions of the EP's regulation. The Latvian Cabinet of Ministers, too, has decided to appeal against the EP's decision.
According to the Transport Ministry's estimates, the new regulation could reduce the total number of Latvian trucks with gross combination mass of more than 3.5 tons by about 1,200 to 1,400 units or approximately 10 percent. To Latvia, this would mean substantial layoffs and reduction in tax revenue.