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TRAN Committee of European Parliament has transformed the Eurovignette into a pure new tax, penalising EU employment without greening road transport


27 May 2011



The non-mandatory earmarking of the revenues from the Eurovignette aimed at greening road transport at-source, as decided by the EP TRAN Committee, will turn the Directive into a pure additional tax on the already heavily taxed road transport services, which will severely penalise the EU competitiveness, economy and employment with no environmental benefits.


Brussels – If voted by the European Parliament on 7 June, the current text of the Eurovignette Directive proposed by the EP TRAN Committee and the Council of Ministers will transform the Eurovignette revenues into a pure new major additional tax to be paid by any road freight service, without the earmarking required to effectively reduce the externalities of local pollution and noise.

President of the IRU EU Goods Transport Liaison Committee, Alexander Sakkers, stressed: “Instead of greening road transport, this opens the door for each EU Member State to apply yet another penalising new tax on road transport, which already largely covers its infrastructure costs and externalities through the numerous existing tolls, fiscal charges and excessive excise duties which regrettably currently only applies to road transport.”

“The total lack of earmarking penalises the European economy twice, road transport externalities will not be reduced, and the well-known less efficient modes will continue to be cross-subsidised without any incentives to improve their service or increase their output. It is also clear that the additional fiscality resulting from the current text of the Eurovignette Directive will be an incentive for the delocalisation of the small and medium size enterprises which represent 95% of the employment in Europe, which will add another penalty on the European economy as a whole,” Alexander Sakkers continued.

IRU General Delegate to the EU, Michael Nielsen, added, “Regrettably, it seems that the EP TRAN Committee is not informed about the devastating effect making road transport even more expensive will have on EU competitiveness, EU production, EU trade and hence EU employment! While the road transport industry is strongly committed to further greening its services, the Directive will actually impede operators from implementing the best technologies and techniques crucial to further green road transport and meet the CO2 reduction target.”

As consequence, if the current text of the Directive is adopted by the European Parliament Plenary on 7 June, Member States although free to decide whether or not to implement the Directive, will not have any obligation to use its revenues to effectively reduce any of the existing externalities.

The IRU and its Member Associations therefore urgently call on MEPs to reintroduce through an appropriate amendment the obligatory earmarking to ensure that all the revenues collected by Member States SHALL be used for road transport greening projects.

Furthermore, the IRU urges the MEPs to request from the European Commission to ensure as soon as possible, through an appropriate Directive, that all other transport modes also fully pay for their externalities in order to create a level playing field for all.

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See the IRU’s position on the internalisation of external costs

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