Lithuania has contested the Mobility Package, a major reform of the EU’s rules regulating road transport, in the European Court of Justice, the Justice Ministry said on Monday.
The ministry said it filed two lawsuits, asking the court to annul certain provisions in EU legislation that affect Lithuanian hauler companies.
“Lithuania is firmly determined to protect the rights of its drivers and haulers,” Justice Minister Elvinas Jankevičius said in a press release.
“While strengthening the EU internal market, we must preserve the competitiveness of our country’s employees and businesses so that this sector is not discriminated against by being subjected to unreasonable and disproportionate requirements,” the minister said.
“This could also affect the country’s finances, as the planned budget revenues would decrease and expenditures would increase,” he added.
Lithuania is contesting the provisions that require trucks to return to their country of registration every eight weeks, restrict cabotage operations within the EU, and change the rules for drivers’ rest without the necessary infrastructure put in place.
In the Lithuanian government’s opinion, these provisions go against EU law and European Green deal objectives, because they restrict opportunities for Lithuanian businesses in other EU countries and increase pollution on the roads.
The government argues that small-sized businesses will be hit the most and nearly 35,000 people in the sector will lose their jobs. It also argues that it may have to spend around 111 million euros for unemployment payments for transport sector workers, and the country’s GDP may decline by 1.6 percent because of the reform.
The European Parliament passed the mobility package in July. The reform is mainly supported by old EU members from western Europe, such as Germany and France. Eastern Europeans say the new rules will push their transport companies out of business and will increase road pollution.