The Bulgarian government supports hauliers in their requests regarding the European Commission's controversial proposals in the Mobility Package, the Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Ivaylo Moskovski announced after the talks with representatives of the Bulgarian hauliers with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. He said that the firm support of the government to the industry's demands concerning the Mobility Package that is being discussed in Brussels has been declared during the meeting.
Minister Ivaylo Moskovski said there are several proposals for amendments in the European legislation concerning directly the cargo road transport operations, which the Bulgarian side disagrees with. Firstly, the Minister pointed out that the proposal to introduce a requirement for drivers to return home is unacceptable as well as to do so after a certain period of time. We believe that fundamental human rights are being violated here obliging free citizens where and when to spend their holiday, he added.
Ivaylo Moskovski said that the other issue, which is not accepted by Bulgaria, is to make drivers rest in hotels or motels, by forbidding them to rest in the cabs of the vehicles. He recalled that once the heavy vehicles are equipped with a resting place, which has been paid by the hauliers when buying the vehicles, they should be allowed to use them. Such measures will also cause a problem with the protection of either the vehicle and the cargo because insurers do not pay premiums if the vehicle is left unattended, he said, specifying that drivers now rest in hotels or motels but only if the parking is guarded.
The Minister also opposed the requirement providing that if a driver stays in another country between three and seven days, he/she should be remunerated under the local legislation. This would impact small and medium-sized businesses, for which it would be hard, even impossible, to organize such complex accounting, Ivaylo Moskovski commented. He added that the recently debated issue concerns cabotage operations, here again the disputes refer to the number of days and operations that will be implemented in another country.
Minister Ivaylo Moskovski pointed out that the Bulgarian position was categorically and permanently stated at the meetings of the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER) in Brussels and does not correspond to the demands, of France in particular, regarding the Mobility Package. "A lot of debates are ahead of us because France has demonstratively blocked the talks and we have extended an invitation to the Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc to visit Bulgaria to find together a rational decision to protect the interest of Bulgarian hauliers", Moskovski said, declaring that if the Mobility Package is adopted in this form, he will leave the Council of Ministers.