In the statement, the transport ministers of Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Malta, Latvia and Estonia said the new regulations limit the freedom of services on the single EU market, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported on Wednesday.
The ministers added that the regulations would lead to a hike in the prices of both transport services and goods, which would in turn decrease the bloc’s global economic competitiveness.
All of the nine countries except Latvia and Estonia have already filed official complaints against the rules with the EU Court of Justice.
According to IAR, the package was prepared before the coronavirus pandemic and does not take into account its impact on the economy.
The rules, adopted by the European Parliament in July, give truck drivers working abroad the right to return home every three to four weeks.
They also require trucks to return to their company’s headquarters every eight weeks.
The overhaul is promoted by wealthier EU states, including France and the Netherlands, which say the new regulations ensure better working conditions for drivers as well as equal competition rules, according to Polish state news agency PAP.
But states from Central and Eastern Europe argue that the regulations are a protectionist measure by Western governments which want to push more competitive companies from countries such as Poland out of their markets.
On Wednesday, Poland reported a record 18,820 new coronavirus infections and a record 236 new deaths, its worst daily toll since the start of the pandemic.
Source: IAR, PAP