In July, the Commission published proposals on updating road use charges for lorries, a move designed to allow for the charging of ‘externalities’ such as air pollution, noise and congestion. But the proposals said the amount charged could not include a climate change element, and there should be a maximum amount that could be charged.
Now the MEP coordinating the Parliament’s position on the Commission’s proposals, Saïd Khadraoui, has drafted an amendment saying EU members should be allowed to charge road hauliers for climate emissions unless they are included in fuel duty. He has also recommended abandoning the maximum amount idea.
The debate among MEPs could well become polarised, with the socialist, liberal and green groups supporting Khadraoui’s approach, and the centre-right EPP supporting the Commission’s line.
Meanwhile, Spain’s transport minister Magdalena Alvarez Arza is reported to have launched a ‘virulent attack’ on the Eurovignette proposals. The attack came in last month’s meeting of EU transport ministers, as Spain refused to support a resolution on sustain- able transport for fear it would support of the Commission’s proposals. Spain says that, as a peripheral nation, it is unfairly penalised by legislation that raises road use charges.