site.btaEU Parliament Discusses Proposal to Shorten Border Checks of Vehicles with EU Plates to Under Minute
The European Parliament's Committee on Petitions discussed on Thursday a proposal by MEP Andrey Novakov (GERB/European People's Party) to introduce a requirement that border checks at EU borders of trucks with European license plates should take no more than 60 seconds.
Novakov and other MEPs said that the technical possibilities for such a measure already exist. A representative of the European Commission objected that such a requirement would be unthinkable and argued that the solution lay in the admission of Bulgaria and Romania to Schengen.
Novakov said that until Bulgaria enters Schengen, "we will fight to find an opportunity for our drivers to stop suffering". He added that truck drivers in Europe work in inhumane conditions. The queues they cause at borders are ruining the economy and the lives of tens of thousands of people across the continent, Novakov said. He pointed out that queues form not only at Bulgarian borders but also at the borders of Central European countries.
According to Dimitar Dimitrov, invited to the meeting as a representative of one of the large NGOs in Bulgaria in the field of freight transport, carriers lose EUR 10 per hour while queueing at the border, while the indirect damages are incalculable.
MEP Asim Ademov (GERB/European People's Party) said that the rejection of Bulgaria and Romania from Schengen is a drastic example of double standards in the EU. Angel Dzhambazki (VMRO/European Conservatives and Reformists) said that drivers are paying the price of European hypocrisy and called on the Bulgarian government to follow the example of the Romanian government in taking measures to join Schengen. Alexander Yordanov (UDF/European People's Party) called on the Committee to propose a more effective procedure for checking documents at borders.
The Committee on Petitions will continue its work on the proposal. It is expected to send a written opinion and seek the views of MEPs on the Transport Committee.