"I will think it over again", said Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas after a lively debate with Transport Committee MEPs on Monday. Mr Kallas expressed regret that he had not informed the committee before the news spread that the Commission was lifting the ban on cross-border usage of longer and heavier trucks. "I did not realize that the issue was that sensitive", he argued, since "No Member State will have to accept longer trucks on its territory if it does not wish to".
Dominique Riquet (EPP, FR) and Georges Bach (EPP, LU) urged the Commission to follow the normal legislative path when addressing such politically controversial issues.
"Be courageous, present a legislative proposal on giga-liners, but do not bring it in through the back door", said Jörg Leichtfried (S&D, AT), who was echoed by Said El Khadraoui (S&D, BE) and Michael Cramer (Greens/DE).
Mathieu Grosch (EPP, BE), Philippe De Backer (ALDE, BE) and Peter Van Dalen (ECR, NL) shared the Commissioner's view that EU Member States should themselves decide themselves whether or not to allow pilot projects with longer and heavier trucks on their territory. "The EU should abolish transport barriers, not uphold them", added Mr De Backer.
Review the full debate by clicking on the VOD link on the right.