S&Ds slam Germany’s car toll plans as discrimination against road users

S&Ds slam Germany’s road toll plans as discrimination within the internal market, Dobrindt and the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU), Ismail Ertug,

The European Parliament today adopted a resolution criticising Germany’s plans to introduce a road toll system. The German government had introduced a de-facto exemption from a road toll, which results in German-registered vehicles receiving a rebate. The Commission believed this to be discrimination in road charging within the EU, and launched infringement proceedings.

After discussions with the German government, the infringement proceedings were halted in December 2016 following structural changes to the road toll implementation. Nonetheless, the discrimination remains in place. Following an oral question to the Commission in the February plenary, the European Parliament today adopted a plenary resolution stating that the German road toll system still contains elements that represent a breach of Union law and violate fundamental principles of the Treaties, in particular discrimination based on nationality.

Ismail Ertug, MEP and S&D spokesperson for transport, said:

“The infringement procedure against Germany was put on hold after the Commission president side-lined the responsible Commissioner and arranged a deal with Germany’s Minister of Transport, Alexander Dobrindt. This raised many questions. Until today it has not been made public which changes the EU Commission and the German government made to the road toll law and why it is now supposed to be fully compatible with EU law. EU Commissioner Violeta Bulc still needs to provide us with some answers.

“The Transport Minister’s road toll plans are still not roadworthy. They discriminate against European drivers and are not in line with EU law.

“Probably it will be up to the European Court of Justice to rule on this question. One thing we know for sure: Dobrindt and the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) have made fools of themselves. Experts estimate that implementing the road toll costs more than it will bring in revenue.”