European Commission and German government compromise over planned road toll

The European Commission and Germany appear to be close to reaching an agreement on Germany‘s road toll system. Back in September, the Commission referred Germany to the European court of Justice, calling its latest road toll system "a discriminatory step towards foreign vehicles which does not comply with the free movement of goods and services".

Author: Gabriela Dimitrova/Friday, November 4, 2016/Categories: Article

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The European Commission and Germany appear to be close to reaching an agreement on Germany‘s road toll system. Back in September, the Commission referred Germany to the European court of Justice, calling its latest road toll system "a discriminatory step towards foreign vehicles which does not comply with the free movement of goods and services".

On the 3rd of November, the European Commission spokeswoman announced that the two parties had made extensive progress in negotiations and promised to freeze the infringement procedure against Germany over the issue. She added that “we are very confident that the last remaining open questions will be clarified in the course of November”. She assured that there is a common interest in introducing an EU-compliant toll in Germany.

Meanwhile, the German Transport Minister, Alexander Dobrindt announced that "We are arriving at mutual understanding, and I am confident that we can strike an agreement with the European Commission in November".

Since 2005, Germany has imposed a toll on trucks using its highways, however it is one of the few European countries to allow using Germany's Autobahn highways free of charge for passenger cars.

In March 2015, the German Parliament introduced a new road charging scheme to charge drivers up to 130 euros a year. The toll, which was supposed to go into force early this year, would have granted vehicles registered in Germany a corresponding refund through their annual vehicle tax. The new compromise includes changes to that part of the legislation.

The compromise on which Brussels and Berlin are working would change a few points of Germany‘s toll planned system, including making cheaper short-term tolls for commuters and tourists from other EU countries (€2.50 for 10 days).

Additionally, the two sides are discussing linking tax breaks to vehicle pollutant levels.

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