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The EU Transport Ministers will discuss tomorrow the ensurance of free movement of goods

17.03.2020

The EU Transport Ministers will discuss tomorrow measures for ensurance of the free movement of goods in the EU. This was announced by the Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications, Rossen Jeliazkov during an emergency briefing. 

„We have to ensure the free movement of goods not only because of the necessity of delivery of vital goods, like groceries, medicines and production components for especially important products, but also in order to guarantee the continuation of the existence of EU's common market.” He explicitly stated that this is a sensitive topic for the peripheral countries of the Union, because in this moment the market functions better in the central countries, while the peripheral are final destinations, which suffer bigger difficulties with the supplies.  

The Minister pointed out that every member state imposes its national measures, but they have to be accorded and coordinated in a way that does not hinder the transit of heavy goods vehicles through the trans-European transport corridors.  

„Today, the Emergency Headquarters announced the national measures. Regarding the transport, the drivers, arriving from countries which are included in the risk list, are to be self-isolated, which will be controlled by the haulier companies until the moment of returning back to the country of the bilateral transportation. When there is no planned departure, the drivers have to stay under an obligatory 14 days quarantine period. When foreign hauliers from countries included in the risk list enter the territory of Bulgaria they are obliged to leave the country within 24 hours, during which they have to perform all operations of unloading and departure”, stated the Minister.

“During tomorrow’s talks, I will discuss with my colleagues the matter of mandatory weekly break for truck drivers. Together with the other Member States, Bulgaria has envisaged derogation of the regulation, concerning the use of mandatory weekly break. There must be a mechanism, which would allow the drivers to use their work break, no matter where they are located. Currently, drivers, who depart from the peripheral countries like Bulgaria, are forced to move as quick as possible through the territory of every state they cross. This means that they will not have the opportunity to take their brake, which creates a real danger for their life and the life of others. The EU should be a single organism, not an aggregation of many national measures”, said Rossen Jeliazkov.

Regarding the supply of goods, the Minister added that currently there should not be any concerns, since the EU is resolved to provide functioning of the transit corridors. He pointed that he held bilateral talks with his Serbian and Romanian colleagues and the entering points between the states function properly. Talks have been held with the passenger carriers as well.

“We are witnessing the closing of more and more starting point destinations for access to air spaces. We will do everything we can, which depends on the state, for the returning of our citizens, who don’t have the possibility to come back with regular airlines. It will be decided in motion, whether the return journey will be at the expense of the tour operators, the passengers themselves or the state will take its respective part of the obligations. The call to our citizens is not to travel. This is no time for tourism, nor for adventures, it’s time for responsibility towards everyone”, further stated Minister Rossen Jeliazkov.