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Council’s latest decision on the Eurovignette amounts to just another tax

Date

19 Oct 2010

Sections

Transport

On Friday 15 October, European Ministers of Transport arrived at a common position with respect to the revision of the ‘Eurovignette’ Directive 2006/38/EC.  This political agreement will create new levies to reduce air and noise pollution originated from road freight transport extending the scope of the directive to all EU motorways.  Regrettably, the common position does not respect the principle of compulsory earmarking, leaving up to Member States on whether the income generated is invested back into the transport field. 

In the words of Christophe Nicodème, Director General:  ‘The Eurovignette is supposed to tackle the externalities generated by road transport and any additional levy raised should do just that.  The Council’s current position amounts to no more than just another tax on an already heavily burdened sector.  Road transport not only provides undisputable socio-economic benefits to Europe’s citizens and economy, it additionally provides a significant net contribution to government state coffers.’

Europe’s roads are seriously underfunded and if this situation continues, safety and sustainable levels on our roads will be inevitable decrease contradicting the objective of the new Eurovignette.  It is time for governments to stop treating the road sector as an ‘income generator’ and provide it with the necessary funds for the sustainable operation and maintenance of Europe’s road infrastructure.

The ERF strongly urges the Members of the European Parliament to adhere to the principle of earmarking so that the revenue collected is channeled back into the road sectors in the form of additional investment for infrastructure and the development of more sustainable technologies.
 

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