Bulgarian lorry drivers rebel against EU
With its Mobility Package 1 the EU wants to regulate the transport sector and put an end to wage and social dumping. However, transport companies and politicians from Eastern Europe are protesting the package because they fear it will put them at a disadvantage in Europe's single market and eliminate their competitive advantage. How justified are their concerns?
Egotism of the rich countries
The argument that the reform is intended to improve the social situation and working conditions of East European lorry drivers is a flimsy pretext used by wealthy EU countries to cheat the poorer ones, Capital criticises:
“The new regulations are a dangerous departure from the principles of the single market. This step divides rather than unifies Europe. ... This is the 'Europe of Nations'. Not a bunch of invisible bureaucrats, but strong heads of state in strong and rich countries, gathering and deciding what happens next. The Paris-Berlin axis is a fact. With the support of the Benelux countries it is simply unstoppable because they have strong economies, armies, markets and institutions that are way ahead of other EU states. They also have experience in this game. And common interests.”
Truck invasion must be regulated
The reform is not directed against Bulgaria but against the unfair conditions in the competition between transport companies in Europe, explains the Bulgarian service of German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle:
“Anyone who believes that this is about preventing Bulgarian lorries from transporting goods between Bulgaria and the rest of Europe has got something wrong. It's about thousands of trucks that rarely return to Bulgaria, always moving between countries like France, Italy, Belgium and Holland instead. ... Imagine if thousands of people from the villages and towns around Sofia got into their cars and started offering taxi rides in the capital and living in their cars in parking lots and petrol stations. You will say that that's not possible because there are rules that forbid it. Well, this is exactly what the affected EU countries are trying to do - to regulate the invasion of foreign lorries.”