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Procedure : 2008/2062(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0357/2008

Texts tabled :

A6-0357/2008

Debates :

PV 08/10/2008 - 27

Votes :

PV 09/10/2008 - 7.13
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2008)0475

Texts adopted
WORD 53k
Thursday, 9 October 2008 - Brussels Final edition
Implementation of the social legislation relating to road transport
P6_TA(2008)0475A6-0357/2008

European Parliament resolution of 9 October 2008 on the implementation of social legislation relating to road transport (2008/2062(INI))

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 23 May 2007on the consequences of the exclusion of self-employed drivers from the scope of Directive 2002/15/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2002 on the organisation of the working time of persons performing mobile road transport activities (COM(2007)0266),

-   having regard to the 23rd report of the Commission of 12 October 2007 on the implementation in 2003-2004 of Regulation (EEC) No 3820/85 on the harmonisation of certain social legislation relating to road transport (COM(2007)0622),

-   having regard to Council Regulation (EEC) No 3820/85 of 20 December 1985 on the harmonisation of certain social legislation relating to road transport(1) ,

-   having regard to Directive 2002/15/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2002 on the organisation of the working time of persons performing mobile road transport activities(2) ,

-   having regard to Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 on the harmonisation of certain social legislation relating to road transport and amending Council Regulations (EEC) No 3821/85 and (EC) No 2135/98 and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3820/85(3) ,

-   having regard to Directive 2006/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 on minimum conditions for the implementation of Council Regulations (EEC) No 3820/85 and (EEC) No 3821/85 concerning social legislation relating to road transport activities and repealing Council Directive 88/599/EEC(4) ,

-   having regard to the judgment of 24 September 2004 in Joined Cases C-184/02 and C-223/02 Kingdom of Spain and Republic of Finland v European Parliament and Council of the European Union (5) , in which the Court of Justice of the European Communities ruled that self-employed drivers could not be excluded permanently from the scope of Directive 2002/15/EC,

-   having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on the Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament entitled Keep Europe moving – sustainable mobility for our continent – mid-term review of the European Commission's 2001 transport White Paper(6) ,

-   having regard to the letters of 21 June 2007 and 29 June 2007 from the Chairman of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs to Commissioner Vladimir Spidla and Vice-President Jacques Barrot and the reply from Vice-President Barrot of 3 October 2007,

-   having regard to the report of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions entitled Impact of the working time directive on collective bargaining in the road transport sector(7) ,

-   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A6-0357/2008),

A.   whereas some Member States failed to supply within the time limits the information on inspection and enforcement activities in 2003-2004 required under Council Regulation (EEC) No 3820/85, with the result that the Commission's report on the implementation of that Regulation during the period in question (COM(2007)0622)) was submitted one and a half years late,

B.   whereas the average number of contraventions detected has remained stable, although the total number of contraventions reported in some Member States rose considerably, with breaches of the rules on breaks and rest periods tending to increase while breaches of the rules on driving times fell,

C.   whereas the next biennial report will have to include, for the first time, information on the implementation of Directive 2002/15/EC,

D.   whereas it is in the general interest that the rules on working time, driving times and rest periods for both mobile workers and self-employed drivers should be properly applied,

E.   whereas the aim of Directive 2002/15/EC is to establish minimum requirements in relation to the organisation of working time in order to improve the health and safety protection of persons performing mobile road transport activities, to improve road safety and to align conditions of competition,

F.   whereas Directive 2002/15/EC came into force on 23 March 2002 and gave Member States three years, until 23 March 2005, to implement its provisions, and yet most Member States failed to transpose the Directive during that three-year transitional period,

G.   whereas, two years after the end of the transitional period for the transposition of Directive 2002/15/EC, some Member States still have not transposed all of its provisions,

H.   whereas self-employed drivers are excluded from the scope of Directive 2002/15/EC until at least 23 March 2009,

I.   whereas the Commission report on the consequences of excluding self-employed drivers from the scope of Directive 2002/15/EC sets out the advantages and disadvantages of both including and excluding self-employed drivers, but without reaching any final conclusions,

J.   whereas Parliament has on various occasions pointed to the importance of addressing the industry malpractice of classifying many employees falsely as self-employed drivers,

K.   whereas it is important to eliminate disparities between the Member States and to help to ensure fair competition in the road transport sector by including self-employed drivers,

L.   whereas it is important for the scope of Regulation (EEC) No 3820/85 to remain consistent with regard to the length of driving time and rest periods, with no distinction between drivers,

M.   whereas restricting working time in the road transport sector will have much greater benefits in terms of road safety if self-employed drivers are included,

N.   whereas the inclusion of self-employed drivers will not detract from their capacity or the need to perform administrative or managerial duties for their company, since, for the purposes of Directive 2002/15/EC, working time is confined to activities related directly to road transport,

O.   whereas the social actors represented on the European Economic and Social Committee are broadly in agreement on including self-employed workers, so as to ensure equal treatment for all workers in the sector, prevent distortions of competition and promote better working conditions,

P.   whereas the Court of Justice of the European Communities has clearly established that Article 71 of the EC Treaty offers a sufficient legal basis for applying Directive 2002/15/EC to self-employed workers, precisely because it contributes to the objectives of road safety and the approximation of conditions of competition,

Q.   whereas the abovementioned Commission Communication and Commission report on the consequences of excluding self-employed drivers from the scope of Directive 2002/15/EC reflect the continuing concern at the delays in transposing and applying Directive 2002/15/EC in some Member States, as well as other social legislation in the road transport sector,

R.   whereas, even though some Member States have still not transposed Directive 2002/15/EC, the two-yearly implementation reports should be submitted in accordance with the timetable laid down in the Directive,

1.  Regrets that considerable differences still remain in the application and enforcement of Regulation (EEC) No 3820/85; notes that Member States must step up their efforts to guarantee efficient and uniform implementation of the improved social provisions;

2.  Expresses concern at the shortcomings and delays in the transposition and implementation of Directive 2002/15/EC in some Member States; seeks rapid clarification and comment from such Member States as to the reasons for non-implementation, together with an indication of what obstacles may still remain;

3.  Points out that Directive 2002/15/EC establishes minimum requirements and its transposition must not lead to a lower level of protection for workers or less compliance with more favourable conditions in certain Member States resulting from general employment legislation or collective agreements,

4.  Calls on the Member States to speed up the process of transposition and show the utmost diligence in implementing social legislation in the road transport sector, so as to properly comply with the general interests of road safety and the health and safety of drivers and provide a clear framework of fair competition;

5.  Calls on the Commission to draw up the implementation reports required under Directive 2002/15/EC at the two-yearly intervals laid down, even though some Member States have not yet transposed the Directive's provisions into national law;

6.  Expresses concern at the consistently high average number of infringements, particularly in the field of passenger transport, and looks to the Member States to improve their enforcement of the rules; calls on the Member States to step up joint initiatives to encourage an exchange of information and personnel, together with coordinated controls;

7.  Calls on the Commission to display the utmost firmness in dealing with infringements of Community law by Member States as regards social provisions in the road transport sector, to provide for coercive measures in the event of failure to comply with provisions and to take preventive measures, if necessary via judicial process, to ensure strict compliance with Community law;

8.  Calls on the Commission, under the comitology procedure set out in Regulation (EC) No 561/2006, to propose by October 2008 guidelines for the uniform definition and classification of infringements;

9.  Calls on the Commission to give appropriate priority to the social dimension of road safety and the health and safety of drivers and other road users in connection with all other considerations, when drawing up its official impact assessment in view of a legislative proposal modifying Directive 2002/15/EC as called for in Article 2(1) thereof;

10.  Calls on the Commission, when drawing up the abovementioned official impact assessment, to take account of the difficult working conditions experienced by lorry drivers travelling through Europe arising from inadequate access to proper rest areas despite the fact that Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 implicitly recognises the importance of a sufficient number of safe and secure rest areas for professional drivers along the Union's motorway network; calls, therefore, on the Commission to follow up the pilot project on safe and secure parking areas launched by the European Parliament, taking account of the measures recommended in the European Economic and Social Committee's opinion on 'European Road Safety Policy and Professional Drivers – Safe and secured parking places(8) ;

11.  Calls on the Commission, when drawing up the abovementioned official impact assessment, to give full consideration to the position expressed by Parliament and to its arguments for the full inclusion of self-employed drivers within the scope of Directive 2002/15/EC;

12.  Calls on the Commission, when drawing up the abovementioned official impact assessment, to take into account the general view within the transport sector that self-employed drivers should be included and considers that it would be extremely difficult from a legal point of view to identify and pursue 'bogus' self-employed workers, not to mention the practical and bureaucratic difficulties that would have to be overcome to prevent this concept from being widely exploited to evade the restrictions on working days;

13.  Calls on the Commission to submit the relevant measures sufficiently well in advance to ensure that Directive 2002/15/EC as a whole, including all its elements, can enter fully into force on 23 March 2009 and that its scope is extended to include self-employed workers;

14.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that impact assessments are completed with urgency, so that an objective analysis can be concluded without further delay of what changes, if any, should be considered;

15.  Calls on the Commission to review traffic inspection procedures in each Member State and send Parliament a report thereon; calls on the Commission, in the event that inspection procedures restricting the free movement of goods or persons are detected, to review existing legislation and propose amendments, so as to ensure uniform traffic inspection procedures;

16.  Calls on the Member States and the Commission to submit the information, and the implementation reports based on that information, more rapidly, so that any necessary legal corrections arising from the analysis of the implementation may be addressed without further ado;

17.  Considers that the figures on contraventions confirm once again its view that there is an urgent need for legal adjustments; is confident, therefore, in the light of Directive 2006/22/EC, which entered into force in May 2006, and Regulation (EC) No 561/2006, which entered into force in April 2007, that the rules will be more strictly and uniformly enforced in future;

18.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

(1) OJ L 370, 31.12.1985, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 80, 23.3.2002, p.35.
(3) OJ L 102, 11.4.2006, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 102, 11.4.2006, p. 35.
(5) ECR [2004] I-7789.
(6) OJ C 161, 13.7.2007, p. 89.
(7) http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/docs/eiro/tn0704039s/tn0704039s.pdf
(8) OJ C 175, 27.7.2007, p. 88.

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