The European Parliament definitively adopted the ‘mobility package’ on 9 July 2020, after almost three years of intense debate. The mobility package consists of three legislative texts that are intended to improve the working conditions of lorry drivers and reduce the risk of unfair competition in the road transport sector.
Posting of drivers
The mobility package includes a directive laying down specific rules for posting drivers in the road transport sector and enforcement requirements. The posting legislation will apply to cabotage (transport between two or more places loading and/or unloading in one country by a transport operator from another country) and to international transport operations. Exceptions to the package include transit, bilateral operations and bilateral operations involving two additional loading or unloading operations.
- EUR-Lex: Directive (EU) 2020/1057 of 15 July 2020 laying down specific rules with respect to Directive 96/71/EC and Directive 2014/67/EU for posting drivers in the road transport sector and amending Directive 2006/22/EC as regards enforcement requirements and Regulation (EU) No 1024/2012
The mobility package includes a regulation on minimum requirements covering maximum daily and weekly driving times; minimum breaks and daily and weekly rest periods; and positioning by means of tachographs (which record information about driving activity, such as time, speed and distance). Companies will need to organise their schedules to enable lorry drivers to return home at regular intervals (once every three or four weeks, depending on their working hours). The driver’s mandatory weekly rest period cannot be taken in the vehicle’s cab. If the driver’s rest break is not spent at home, the company must pay the driver’s accommodation costs.
- EUR-Lex: Regulation (EU) 2020/1054 of 15 July 2020 amending Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 as regards minimum requirements on maximum daily and weekly driving times, minimum breaks and daily and weekly rest periods and Regulation (EU) No 165/2014 as regards positioning by means of tachographs
Rules regarding road haulage and cabotage
Regulation (EU) 2020/1055 is intended to adapt several previous regulations to developments in the road transport sector. It revises the rules relating to cabotage. It also seeks to combat the use of ‘letterbox companies’, by forcing haulage companies to demonstrate that they have a significant volume of business in the Member State in which they are registered.
- EUR-Lex: Regulation (EU) 2020/1055 of 15 July 2020 amending Regulations (EC) No 1071/2009, (EC) No 1072/2009 and (EU) No 1024/2012 with a view to adapting them to developments in the road transport sector
The legislation entered into force 20 days after the texts were published, and the directive must be transposed into Member States’ national laws within 18 months (by 2 February 2022). The European Commission is preparing guidelines setting out details of the application of the texts.
German, French and Nordic employer organisations welcomed the new legislation, recognising it as a ‘crucial step to ensure [a] level playing field and fair transport for hauliers in Europe’.  The European Transport Workers’ Federation hailed the adoption of the package as a victory that was partly attributable to its efforts in lobbying Members of the European Parliament.  The reform was also welcomed by the European Trade Union Confederation. 
The mobility package was strongly condemned by employer organisations in some eastern European countries (including Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Romania), which view it as a protectionist manoeuvre and fear it will entail a loss of jobs and businesses in the sector.