The National Union of Road Hauliers from Romania (UNTR) states that the European Commission applies a double standard in the interpretation of Regulation 561/2006 on the right of truck drivers to spend their weekly rest in the cabs, depending on the interests of three countries: Belgium, France and Germany.
The regulations oblige the drivers to accomodate at the hotel for the 45 hours of weekly rest, hindering Eastern European road hauliers. The reason given by the European Commission is the lack of spaces for personal hygiene.
“Since 2014, when France and Belgium introduced national interpretations contrary to the provisions of this European regulation, it is unacceptable the European Commission’s position to not sanction immediately these divergent national interpretations – thus encouraging other Member States such as Germany to follow them in 2017 by prohibiting the normal weekly rest period in the cab of the truck.”
“The question is, when was Regulation 561/2006 correctly interpreted? It was correctly interpreted in 2006-2014 by the European Commission and all Member States that allowed normal weekly rest in the cabs, or it is correctly interpreted since 2014 by Belgium and France and by 2017 by Germany, so by only some of the member states, without any change to the Regulation 561/2006?”
“By its current proposal to amend Regulation 561/2006, published on 31.05.2017, the Commission needs to clarify these issues by validating the interpretation and practice of the Member States and the European road transport industry in the last 11 years rather than by taking on isolated and abusive interpretations (…) UNTRR condemns these actions by Belgium, France and Germany, as well as the European Commission’s approach – and calls on the Romanian authorities to take steps to ensure the uniform application of Regulation 561/2006 at European level as applied during the last 11 years. The Romanian authorities should not remain in inertia but, together with the states of Eastern Europe and the other Member States with common interests, should take action against the abuses of the Western European states, with the support of the European Commission.”
Recently there have been some incidents between the Belgian police and the Romanian drivers who were arrested for this reason, as they were sleeping in their own truck cabs, thus circumventing the Belgian law.
Source: Digi24 TV