IRU urges EU governments to ring-fence Eurovignette money for “greening”

Strasbourg, France: The Eurovignette directive that the European Parliament has voted to adopt is nothing more than a new tax says the International Road Transport Union (IRU). It calls on governments to earmark Eurovignette revenues to “green” road transport and so meet the objectives of the recent EU transport policy white paper.

The Eurovignette directive proposed by the EP Tran Committee and the Council of Ministers adopted this week by the European Parliament turns the Eurovignette merely into a heavy, additional new tax to be paid by EU citizens for any road freight service, which will penalise the EU economy and job creation with no environmental benefits, the IRU says in a statement.

“Indeed, the new text does not require the mandatory earmarking that could effectively reduce at-source the externalities produced by commercial road transport.”

Alexander Sakkers, president of the IRU’s EU goods transport liaison committee, says: “While the road transport industry is strongly committed to further greening its services, this new tax imposed on road transport services through the Eurovignette directive will actually impede operators from investing in and implementing the best technologies and techniques crucial to further green road transport and meet the CO2 reduction target.”

“The IRU therefore calls on each EU member states to fully earmark all the revenues from this new fiscal charge to road transport projects, in order to meet the objectives of the new EU Transport Policy White Paper and effectively green road transport,” Sakkers says.

“Instead of greening road transport, the current directive allows each EU member state to further penalise the EU economy and employment by applying yet another new tax on a vital production tool – road transport, that is regrettably the only transport mode which already largely covers its infrastructure costs and externalities through the numerous existing tolls, fiscal charges and excessive excise duties.”

Michael Nielsen, IRU general delegate, says: “As the new directive obliges member states to be fully transparent on the revenues they collect from both current infrastructure and potential future external cost charges and their use, the IRU jointly with its member associations in every EU Member State will closely monitor for what purpose this new tax, collected in the framework of the Eurovignette Directive, will effectively be used by national governments.

“IRU Members will also check and ensure – as indicated by the European Commission – that all other transport modes also fully pay for their infrastructure use and externalities in order to create a level playing field for all modes,” Nielsen says.

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