Germany encouraged to support Commission’s toll proposals

Bordering two countries, Bavaria stood to benefit from Germany's rejected foreign-vehicle focused toll system. Munich-area highway, 2010. [Björn Láczay/Flickr]

Brussels expects more support from Berlin for a Europe-wide toll scheme. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc wants to put an end to the EU’s various toll schemes, and has rejected German Minister for Transport Alexander Dobrindt’s proposed plans on the matter.

Bulc told Die Welt that it is possible that the European Commission will present proposals this year that could serve “as the basis for a European toll system for trucks and cars”.

Therefore, EU member states that have opted to toll their roadways would be organised into one single system. “I invite Germany to support us in this proposal,” said the Slovenian politician.

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“We need a European solution for road charges,” she continued, adding that, “Many different toll systems are a barrier to mobility within the internal market.”

Germany has had its toll scheme rejected by the Commission in the past, which cited unacceptable discrimination against non-German citizens. According to Berlin’s plans, Germans would receive discounts when using tolled roadways.

>>Read: Dobrindt: Commission should not interfere with German toll

Bavaria’s Minister President, Horst Seehofer (CSU), announced at the weekend that he would soon seek an end to Brussels’ veto.

Bulc reiterated the EU executive’s stance on the issue during her interview with Die Welt, saying “There should be no discrimination based on nationality.” It would be incompatible with EU law.

In terms of the ongoing infringement procedure, the ball is now in Berlin’s court. “In December, we requested additional information from the German authorities and have asked for an answer by February,” she added.

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The Commission formally launched an infringement procedure against Germany on 18 June last year.

Due to the ongoing disagreement, Dobrindt’s plan, which was to have been implemented early this year, has now been postponed indefinitely. 

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