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20.2.  The EU internal market for inland transport

  1. Access to the common inland transport market of the EU
  2. Competition conditions in EU inland transport services
  3. EU transport infrastructure

Title VI of the Treaty on the functioning of the EU (TFEU) is devoted to transport policy. It states that common policy in the transport sector should be implemented via common rules applicable to international transport, through the admission of non-resident carriers to the national transport market and through all other appropriate provisions (Article 91 TFEU, ex Article 71 TEC). According to the Treaty, aids which respond to the need for the coordination of transport services or for the reimbursement for the discharge of certain obligations inherent in the concept of public service are compatible with the treaties (Article 93 TFEU, ex Article 73 TEC). Any discrimination, which takes the form of carriers charging different rates and imposing different conditions for the carriage of the same goods over the same transport links on grounds of the country of origin or destination of the goods in question, is prohibited (Article 95 TFEU, ex Article 75 TEC). The Member States may not impose rates and conditions involving any element of support or protection in the interest of one or more particular undertakings or industries, unless authorised by the Commission (Article 96 TFEU, ex Article 76 TEC).

The first Community measures adopted in the inland transport sector sought to abolish discrimination in transport rates and conditions [Regulation 11/1960] and to integrate national transport markets together with the creation of the general common market for goods and services. In this sector, it was necessary to create a genuine internal market in which transport operators from all the Member States would have access under the same conditions as those prevalent on their national markets. This implied freedom of establishment, the removal of barriers to freedom of movement and the harmonisation of competition conditions.

No special problems were encountered in the free movement of individuals and the right of establishment in the transport sector. The Regulation of 1968 on the free movement of workers within the European Community was applied to the inland transport sector in the same way as to other economic sectors [Regulation 492/2011, see section 6.4]. The right of establishment formed part of the general programme to remove restrictions to the freedom of establishment adopted by the Council in December 1961 [see section 6.5.1]. This freedom is now guaranteed by the Regulation establishing common rules concerning the conditions to be complied with to pursue the occupation of road transport operator [Regulation 1071/2009]. It was the free movement of services, meaning free access of all operators in the transport market that was the source of complex problems, due to restrictive national regulations in the Member States, particularly for road haulage services. This subject merits our particular attention.

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