3

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Revision of the Eurovignette Directive

13-03-2020

The Commission adopted a legislative proposal for a directive amending Directive 1999/62/EC on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures (known as the Eurovignette Directive) in May 2017. The initiative is linked to two wider strategies, the energy union strategy, which inter alia envisaged a road transport package, including more efficient infrastructure pricing, and the Commission's strategy for low-emission mobility. The proposal was presented within the context ...

The Commission adopted a legislative proposal for a directive amending Directive 1999/62/EC on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures (known as the Eurovignette Directive) in May 2017. The initiative is linked to two wider strategies, the energy union strategy, which inter alia envisaged a road transport package, including more efficient infrastructure pricing, and the Commission's strategy for low-emission mobility. The proposal was presented within the context of the Commission's 'Europe on the move' package that seeks to modernise mobility and transport and includes several legislative proposals. The objective of the Eurovignette proposal, which substantially amends the existing legislation by extending the scope of vehicles covered, is to make progress in the application of the 'polluter pays' and 'user pays' principles. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

The Eurovignette and the framework to promote a European electronic toll service (EETS)

06-03-2017

The various reports and assessments show that there are considerable differences in the way vehicle road charges have been implemented across Member States. This means that a fully integrated market is yet to be reached. This is partly due to the flexibility contained in the various legislations which allowed Member States to apply systems that first and foremost fitted with their needs. As transport policy has increasingly become more interlinked with reducing emissions, these differences have become ...

The various reports and assessments show that there are considerable differences in the way vehicle road charges have been implemented across Member States. This means that a fully integrated market is yet to be reached. This is partly due to the flexibility contained in the various legislations which allowed Member States to apply systems that first and foremost fitted with their needs. As transport policy has increasingly become more interlinked with reducing emissions, these differences have become more problematic. The available evidence shows that there are qualitative differences between the road charging systems with distance-based charges being the most effective option. Indeed, it is clear that a move towards this system has been happening for some time now, and that road charges generally vary depending on emissions. The reviews did not find evidence of discrimination against any HGV users. In the area of electronic tolling, substantial variations can also be found. While dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) is the most used system, significant challenges around inter-operability remain. In fact some argue that none of the current systems in use under EETS will increase operability. Technological advances are nevertheless making harmonising these services easier. Although some argue that the gradual harmonisation seen to date has more to do with new technologies than with EU legislation. While a harmonised system is important for the internal market, road charges have also become closely linked with the reduction in emissions according to the 'polluter pay' principle. Following that logic, it would be difficult not to consider road charges for all vehicles. Especially since passenger car emissions make up a higher proportion of GHG emissions than HGVs. Indeed, the Commission's consultation on the topic confirms that wide ranging options are being considered. A broader scope raises more challenges, and as road charges get more sophisticated, i.e. time-based for example, more care needs to be taken that rates do not discriminate against some road users, in particular non-nationals. However, road charges currently make up only a very small proportion of the total costs for the transport sector, which means that behavioural changes solely based on these charges are likely to be limited. To significantly reduce transport emissions, much broader actions will be required.

Road charges for private vehicles in the EU

25-05-2016

Road charges are fees for the use of a particular road network or section of road. Since the 1990s, the focus of European transport policy has shifted from the application of road pricing purely as a means to generate revenue towards the use of charges as an instrument against pollution and congestion. Charging for road infrastructure is an option to implement basic principles of EU policy such as the 'user-pays principle' or the 'polluter-pays principle'. It can serve different functions such as ...

Road charges are fees for the use of a particular road network or section of road. Since the 1990s, the focus of European transport policy has shifted from the application of road pricing purely as a means to generate revenue towards the use of charges as an instrument against pollution and congestion. Charging for road infrastructure is an option to implement basic principles of EU policy such as the 'user-pays principle' or the 'polluter-pays principle'. It can serve different functions such as financing, managing traffic flow or making all costs perceptible so as to influence the behaviour of road users. As the transport of goods is linked with the functioning of the Single Market, the charging of heavy goods vehicles is regulated at European level. In contrast, there is no regulation at European level on the road charging of private vehicles, though Member States establishing such schemes are obliged to apply the basic principles of the Treaties, in particular the principles of proportionality and of non-discrimination on grounds of nationality. As a consequence of the regulation at national level, many different charging schemes are applied in the EU. These vary, principally according to the way they are levied: distance-based schemes levied by means of tolls, or time-based schemes, levied using vignettes. All schemes are associated with considerable levying costs. Technological developments such as electronic charging can offer opportunities to reduce these costs. However, lack of interoperability between the various systems generates additional costs and hindrances for European mobility.

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