Mobility Package: Next Steps

From July 2020 a new set of EU rules covering market and social aspects governs road transport in the EU, both for passenger and freight. Now the Package needs to be supported by a series of concrete legally-binding implementation measures and guidance on how rules have to be applied and enforced. The Package also requires the European Commission to produce reports on a few aspects on which no political compromise was possible during the 3-year period of adoption process.

Having played a key role in its shaping up and adoption, the ETF is now fully involved in the Package post-adoption work.

The ETF will play a key role in the upcoming steps:


The ETF holds an observer status in all competent committees and liaises with its members and with the EU Institutions to ensure that these acts lead to flawless enforcement of the Package.

Once adopted, the Mobility Package needs to be backed up by a series of concrete implementation measures to ensure its uniform application across the EU. These aspects can range from technical specifications for the new tachograph functionalities to binding instructions on the exchange of information between Member States on posting of workers, etc.  Six of these ‘implementing acts’ will need to be developed and adopted by the European Commission and the Member States by September 2022.

Guidance on application and enforcement of the Mobility Package

As the Package resulted from a compromise between the EU Institutions, it contains areas that need clarification. It is not uncommon that the European Commission, enforcement groups, the ETF and other organisations provide guidelines on how these rules should be applied and enforced. In particular, the ETF liaises with the European Commission to ensure that these guides match the social and labour realities of the sector.

The ETF will be producing guides on the Package. The first in the series covers the new provisions on driving and rest time,  is already available to our affiliates, and will soon be made public.

In December 2020, the European Commission published a legal guide on the aspects of posting, driving and rest time rules.

Joint union- industry- enforcers guidelines on driving and rest time rules

Over the past years, enforcers, trade unions and road operators have committed to developing a mutual understanding on how these complex rules should be applied and enforced. In 2022, the ETF will renew our cooperation with the IRU, CORTE and soon, with the ECR in a formal framework, to extend this exercise to the newly adopted driving and rest time rules.

European Commission report on driving and rest time for bus and coach – August 2022

There is a lot of pressure to make bus and coach driving and working time rules more flexible in passenger transport, especially for excursions and bus tours. This, although international bus and coach tours drivers can already be made to drive 12 days without any time off and the dangerously high level of fatigue among drivers in passenger transport. However, as a compromise, the Mobility Package contains a provision according to which by August 2022 the European Commission will evaluate and report whether more flexible rules can be adopted in this area of activity.

The ETF is rightly concerned that a more flexible driving-hour regime in bus and coach will be a setback for road, driver and passenger safety, and will deepen the shortage of drivers in bus and coach – the average age of whom is over 45 years.

Currently, an ETF project on driver fatigue is well underway, and an accompanying survey on the attractiveness of the sector is foreseen.

A quick recap on the Mobility Package and its benefits

In an attempt to clamp down on letter box companies, the Mobility Package imposes new establishment criteria on road operators via the revised regulation on access to occupation (Regulation EU 2020/1055). Likewise, to address the poor record of the sector in terms of fair competition between hauliers, the Package limits the number of road operations a haulier can carry out on the territory of a Member States other than the one of establishment (cabotage).

Most importantly, the Package sets specific rules for the application of posting of workers to bus, coach and truck drivers (Regulation EU 2020/1057) . This provision makes it mandatory for operators to return their fleet to the country of registration once every two months and send their drivers back home or to the company’s operational centre every 3 – maximum 4 – weeks. Road operators are no longer allowed to sleep their drivers in truck cabins during their weekly rest periods. Together with the return of driver, the ban on driver rest in the vehicle guarantees a minimum of decent rest conditions and work-life balance in a sector that stood out for its social dumping practices. More in (Regulation EU 2020/1054).

To ensure that these rules are upheld, the Package steps up enforcement. One of the key elements: by 2015 all commercial passenger and freight vehicles will have to be equipped with the latest generation of tachographs – a ‘black box’ developed over the years to ensure that EU legally binding daily and weekly driving time limits are complied with. The tachograph will have additional functionalities: it will automatically register the vehicle (bus or truck) and driver location every 3 hours of accumulated driving time and the time and place of loading and unloading (passenger pick up and set off). This makes it a powerful tool in controlling compliance with the above cabotage rules  and posting of workers’ conditions. It will also help curve the current wide-spread practice of paying the drivers only for their driving time rather than for their entire activity. Periods of loading and unloading (picking up and setting off in passenger transport) are considered by law working time but often not remunerated by the operators. By 2016, vans engaged in cross-border transport will also have to be equipped with smart tachographs, and EU driving time limits will apply to them as well. Companies will no longer be able to force a driver to drive a lorry for 9 hours per day, and then jump onto a van to work more delivery hours.

A huge gain for the health and safety of millions of drivers, and for the road safety! The ETF will see to it!

Download our animation on the Mobility Package and its benefits here available in EN, DE, FR, DK, RO.

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