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Brussels, 8 November 2006

Towards simpler rules: meeting with the road haulage industry

Yesterday, 7 November, the European Commission held a hearing with the main European associations representing road hauliers, their trade unions and their customers. The aim was to prepare for a review of the current Community rules on admission to the occupation and access to the market, the pillars of the internal market for road transport. The participants addressed issues relating to road haulage cabotage, the criteria relating to the setting-up of companies, the integration of Member States' control systems, the improvement of financial capacity and professional qualification and the simplification of procedures.

Jacques Barrot, the Commission Vice-President with special responsibility for transport, said that "the smooth functioning of the internal market calls for simpler and clearer rules which can be applied and complied with by all operators in all Member States. This should enable road transport to play a full role in modern logistics, under good conditions for workers, society and the European economy".

The current legislative framework for the internal market in road transport comprises a directive governing admission to the occupation of road haulier and four regulations on access to the market for the carriage of goods and passengers. This framework has contributed to the development of a competitive industry offering diversified services for the European economy. Given the development of the sector, in particular international transport, this framework now needs to be reviewed in order to simplify implementation and controls, improve legal certainty and ensure fair competition.

As part of the "better legislation" initiative, the Commission intends to propose to the European Parliament and the Council a recasting of these five legislative acts in spring 2007. On the basis of a questionnaire published on the Internet and circulated to the industry, a public consultation was held in summer 2006. One of the aims of the meeting on 7 November was to examine a summary of the 67 contributions received. This is available on the following European Commission website:

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