National road transport markets should be opened up further to increase competition, a report from a high level group of academics has recommended.
The European Commission mandated the group to draft a report on the EU road haulage market last year.
And the report, which was handed over to vice-president Siim Kallas today, calls for a gradual opening of domestic road transport markets as a key step towards completing the single European transport area.
Cabotage, where hauliers from one EU state work within another state, only accounts for two per cent of all national hire and reward transport operations.
The High Level Group is proposing a flexible and gradual opening of national road transport markets, to be flanked by measures to ensure that sufficient labour forces are available, that rules are applied fairly and that innovation can be promoted.
The group recommends that two different types of cabotage be introduced:
* Linked cabotage: limited to a short period of time and connected to an international carriage,
* non-linked cabotage: which may take place for a longer time, independently of the existing international carriage and which would be subject to a registration procedure to ensure that the drivers involved apply the labour law of their local competitor.
The commission will take into consideration these conclusions in its own report on the situation of the EU road haulage market, to be published in 2013. “It will be particularly helpful to understand how we can gear our road transport policy towards growth and competitiveness, by making the sector more efficient and the rules governing it fairer and more effective,” said Kallas.