Hungary’s government has filed an action with the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) seeking the annulment of certain provisions in the Mobility Package on the grounds they are discriminatory and run counter to EU climate objectives, the innovation and justice ministries said in a joint statement. The contested provisions impose a disproportionate financial and administrative burden on European hauliers and are also impossible to enforce, the ministry said. The statement noted that the European Parliament and the European Council had approved the Mobility Package in July in the face of vocal opposition by Hungary and other member states. It said the Hungarian government had taken a stand against the provisions in all available forums since the drafting of the package started three years earlier.
The declared goals of the new regulations are to protect the interests of lorry drivers, while improving their social and work conditions, but the Hungarian government is of the view that the new provisions address existing problems poorly and further worsen the situation of those affected rather than resolving issues, the ministry said. The provisions run contrary to the principle of free movement of labour, goods and services; and they restrict the operation of the unified market and national markets with protectionist measures, it added. The document said the provisions give hauliers from outside of the EU an advantage, which hurts member states economically and can cause a deterioration in traffic safety conditions for EU citizens.
The government’s CJEU action seeks to exempt hauliers from the EU directive on posted workers, to exempt accompanied combined transport from new rules on combined transport, to scrap the prohibition on sleeping in cabs because of the insufficient number of safe rest stops, to roll back the deadline for installing smart tachographs to the originally planned 2034, and to eliminate a rule requiring lorry drivers to return to their base of operations every eight weeks.
In a post on Facebook, Justice Minister Judit Varga said the new rules “undermine the EU’s internal market and deliberately strengthen the undue competitive advantage of Western European Member States”. She said that Hungary had been joined by Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Romania in consistently opposing the regulations.