Kallas’ decision “not exceptional” - EMS Forum
By Isabelle Smets | Friday 20 July 2012
The ‘pro-gigaliners’ also want to be heard. The EMS Forum (‘European modular system’ – the other name of giant trucks) welcomes the interpretation of Directive 96/53/EC by Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas, which authorises cross-border journeys for gigaliners between two states that authorise them on their respective territories.
The EMS Forum brings together companies and associations that are in favour of gigaliners, such as Michelin, TNT, the International Road Transport Union (IRU) or the European Express Association. In a 20 July statement, Kallas said he was “surprised” by the decision of the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, to write to José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, to ask him to revoke Kallas’ interpretation (see
Europolitics 4464). It obvious that quite apart from the actual content of the dossier – pros and cons of gigaliners, a matter the EP is in fact divided about – MEPs are above all unhappy at being deprived of their power of co-decision.
For the EMS Forum, there is nothing much out of the ordinary in Kallas’ approach, contrary to what the EP is claiming. “This type of reinterpretation by the Commission of a legal provision, which is not clear in the EU legislation, is not exceptional. [...] The Commission did not create new legislation but is simply clarifying existing EU rules to ensure harmonised interpretation and implementation across the EU”.
The EMS Forum considers that the provisions of the directive have given rise to differing interpretations – “including by three subsequent transport commissioners” – and therefore need to be clarified. In the forum’s view, that is exactly what Kallas has done.