Commission's proposal would open the bus traffic market
The Government has submitted to Parliament an official letter concerning the amendment of the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council to open the bus traffic market to carriers having a registered office in any EU member state.
The proposal is part of a large legal entity of the Commission concerning road traffic. Its aim is to support fluent functioning, efficiency and competitiveness of road traffic in the internal market, to clarify the current regulation and to unify the execution in member states.
The proposal would extend the scope of application of the regulation to also cover national regular traffic when carried out by other operators than those having a registered office in the member state in question.
The most essential change of the proposal would be that regular national long-distance transportation could be carried out as cabotage without restrictions. In practice this would open the partially national bus traffic market to operators having a registered office in any EU country. The change would increase competition on regular service on national long-distance bus routes and correspondingly provide Finnish carriers an opportunity to operate in other member states.
The Government supports the targets of the proposal to improve the functioning of the public transport market and so increase the use of public transport through competition. The Government suggests that the proposal be handled together with other road traffic initiatives of the Commission. Particular attention should be paid to ensuring that the conditions for competition between carriers are fair in cabotage and that monitoring of cabotage’s conformity to law is improved from the current level. The way in which the proposal relates to the legislation on posting workers and to the Commission's special legislation proposal on posting road traffic drivers, in particular, must be clarified.
The proposal also contains some regulatory proposals concerning access to terminals. Under the Finnish circumstances, they do not seem to be absolutely necessary. The Government considers that in Finland, a similar outcome could be achieved by general regulations concerning competition. In other words, if it is not possible to omit the regulation concerning access to terminals, the aim should be to reduce it instead.
When the Act on Transport Services enters into force on 1 July 2018, no permission would be needed for regular service in Finland. The regular service run pursuant to the regulation would, however, require a permit, as is the case even today.
In the Council’s traffic working group, the actual handling of the proposal would commence at the beginning of 2018.
Jorma Hörkkö, Senior Government Adviser, tel. +358 295 34 2503
Erik Asplund, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 34 2277