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Procedure : 2007/0098(COD)
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PV 22/04/2009 - 12
CRE 22/04/2009 - 12

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PV 23/04/2009 - 8.2
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Wednesday, 22 April 2009 - Strasbourg OJ edition

12. Common rules for access to the international market for coach and bus services (recast) - Common rules concerning the conditions to be complied with to pursue the occupation of road transport operator - Common rules for access to the international road haulage market (recast) (debate)
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  Corien Wortmann-Kool (PPE-DE ). - (NL) I should like to start by saying that the good news in the proposal we are now discussing is that the 12-day rule for bus transport has been abolished.

As far as cabotage is concerned, however, the proposal is downright disappointing. After all, back at the start of the 1990s, and even in the 1980s, it was agreed that this restriction of the free transport of goods would be temporary in nature. That is why we, the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats, but also Members of other groups, had submitted proposals at first reading to lift the restrictions by 2014. In recent months, though, it has become apparent that the Member States have been thwarting this proposal, despite the efforts Mr Grosch has made as a rapporteur to have a date on the table after all. The thwarting has been fierce, which is very bad news.

Protectionism in times of crisis is the worst news for Europe, for, as Mr Tajani rightly pointed out, it is a waste of money and bad for the environment. That is why the Dutch Christian Democrats (CDA) will be voting against this proposal, even though we are aware that it is the Member States that are blocking this measure and there is nothing we can do about it, unfortunately. The content of this proposal is both wrong and unenforceable. The legislation is therefore not just bad in times of crisis, it is also symbolic.

I should therefore like to encourage the Commissioner not to leave matters at that, and to take the initiative once more, the right of initiative he has in the next few years to abolish this restriction of cabotage yet. He will be supported by the Christian Democrats in so doing.

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