The new regulations, known as the mobility package, include road hauliers in the EU's posted workers regulations that seriously reduce the lower wage advantage of poorer EU member states. Poland, which has one of the largest road transport fleets in Europe, would be hit hard by the new rules. Poland argues that the new regulations are protectionist, as they push out Eastern European transport companies from Western European markets.
Polish MEP Kosma Złotowski told reporters after the vote that the EP's decision lay in line with Poland's stand in the matter. "It is a very good thing. (...) We've been saying from the very beginning that the entire mobility package should be postponed till the next (EP) term. The status quo regarding hauliers' rights is and will remain unchanged in the near future. It is good for Eastern Europe, it is good for Poland," Złotowski said. He added that the EC's road transport proposals were extremely unfavourable for Poland.
Poland's Infrastructure Minister Andrzej Adamczyk said the vote result surpassed Poland's expectations, and reminded everyone that the rejection of the regulations was in part the effect of "hard work" by MEPs and government-level transport officials.
Adamczyk observed, however, that the vote did not end the issue and that work on the final shape of an EU transport law will continue, and in this context assured that Poland "will undertake all possible steps to protect the transport branch."
Commenting the vote to reporters in Brussels, Jerzy Szepietowski from the International Hauliers' Association in Poland (ZMPD) said that "the battle has been won, but the war continues." (PAP)