Whilst the EU Commission does not want to clarify its position until Germany presents revised plans on introducing the toll, the European Parliament is taking an unequivocal stand. During the plenary session on 15 February, Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc already had to answer numerous critical questions by MEPs. On Tuesday, the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament (TRAN) upped the ante and adopted a resolution, which demands that the Commission takes action against a car toll in Germany, which is not in accordance with EU law.
The Transport Committee clarifies in the resolution: national toll systems, which directly or indirectly differ by nationality, are discriminatory and thereby not in accordance with EU law. Due to the fact that the infrastructure levy planned by Germany, will be fully refunded to German drivers by reducing the motor vehicle tax, the levy cannot be regarded as being in accordance with EU law, so the Committee. Apart from that, it weakens the Single Market and restricts cross-border mobility.
In addition, the Committee has asked the Commission to disclose the results of the negotiations with the German government, which have led to the suspension of infringement proceedings. Furthermore, it requests that the Commission closely observes the German plans and that it informs Parliament of all developments in the negotiations.
The resolution was adopted with a clear majority of 34 MEPs, only nine Members voted against.
As a next step, the resolution will be presented to the plenum of the European Parliament. In doing so, the European Parliament is supporting Austria and the other neighbouring countries, which are opposed to a toll in Germany, which is against EU law. The ball is now in Germany's corner to come up with the announced toll improvements; afterwards it is the task of the Commission to examine these in view of EU conformity.