Puente expresses his concern to the European Commission over the roadblocks in France and the situation of Spanish hauliers

News - 2024.1.30

30/01/2024. Situation of Spanish hauliers. The Minister for Transport and Sustainable Mobility, Óscar Puente, meets the European Commissione... The Minister for Transport and Sustainable Mobility, Óscar Puente, meets the European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean

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In this context, the minister explained to the Commissioner the measures being taken to facilitate the activity of Spanish hauliers and to minimise the impact of the mobilisations.

For example, the Ministry has signed a resolution authorising more flexible driving hours for hauliers who have been affected by the roadblocks and delays in France and on both sides of the French border. These exemptions apply from 22 January to 4 February 2024 inclusive.

This extends the maximum daily driving limit from 9 to 11 hours, the weekly limit from 56 to 60 hours and the bi-weekly limit from 90 to 120 hours, and reduces the daily rest requirement from 11 hours to 9 hours. In addition, it enables the possibility of taking two consecutive reduced weekly breaks of at least 24 hours, subject to conditions.

In addition, on 26 January 2024, the Ministry sent a letter to the French ambassador in Spain to convey to Paris Spain's request that all necessary measures be adopted to guarantee the normal flow of international freight transport, and its absolute security.

TEN-T cross-border connections

Minister Óscar Puente held the meeting with the Commissioner for Transport today in Brussels, after participating in the High-Level EU Cycling Conference..

During the meeting, the minister insisted on the need for France to comply, in cross-border sections of railway infrastructure, with the implementation commitments set out in the Trans-European Transport Network Regulation. On this point, he thanked the Commissioner for her willingness to continue working with the French authorities on the completion of the network within the established deadlines, asking her to continue reiterating to France that it must comply with the completion of the cross-border sections of the Atlantic and Mediterranean Corridors in accordance with the deadlines established by the Regulation.

He reiterated the commitment of the Ministry and the Spanish Government to meeting the agreed deadlines for the deployment of the infrastructures included in the Trans-European Transport Network and expressed his willingness to achieve the unblocking of the cross-border sections before the end of his term of office.

In this context, he applauded the fact that there is already a decision to push for the completion of the Évora-Mérida railway section and expressed his support for extending this decision to the whole Lisbon-Madrid line.

2023 CEF Transport call for proposals

In addition, coinciding with today's closing of the 2023 CEF call for proposals, to which Spain has submitted a significant portfolio of quality projects, the minister conveyed to the Commissioner the importance of raising the level of co-financing to be received with respect to the latest calls, so that the absorption rate corresponds to what we contribute to the EU budget.

Implementation of the maritime ETS

The new Directive published in June 2023 on the ETS (Emissions Trading System) takes effect from 1 January 2024. The measure, as designed, is already leading to the first diversions of traffic from Spanish ports to non-EU ports. The reason is to avoid the cost of the maritime ETS, with the consequent risk of carbon leakage, loss of port competitiveness and loss of control of EU trade sovereignty.

The minister insisted on the need to design corrective and preventive measures that guarantee the application of the maritime ETS without undermining European commercial sovereignty and the competitiveness of our ports.

They also discussed issues related to the maritime transport of plastic pellets given the importance of good coordination between DG MOVE and the IMO in the establishment of technical criteria to avoid situations in the future such as those that have just occurred in Portugal and Spain.

Non official translation