The EU is preparing to take action against Denmark because the nation’s lorry-driving rules, which are designed to protect Danish jobs, are too punitive to foreign drivers.
The EU Commission believes that a recent Danish law concerning cabotage driving – which makes it more difficult for truckers from other EU member states such as Romania to drive lorries in Denmark whilst working for Romanian pay and labour conditions – goes against EU legislation.
“The new Danish rules are contributing to unnecessarily limiting non-native transport companies’ opportunities to perform international transport and cabotage driving in Denmark,” the commission said, according to Børsen business newspaper.
The Danish law was implemented last year in order to ensure that foreign truckers don’t underbid the Danish truckers price-wise and send their jobs abroad. The Danish lorry-driving industry is already under pressure and 6,000 jobs have disappeared since 2009.
Social dumping a big issue
The EU transport commission said that the issue would be taken to EU courts should Denmark fail to follow the EU's line, but the transport minister, Magnus Heunicke (S), has yet to convey what he plans to do.
“We see illegal cabotage driving as social dumping,” Heunicke said. “Fighting social dumping is an important issue for the Danish government and clearer rules are needed. The foggy rules implemented by the EU in this area are perplexing.”
The news comes a week after the European parliament safety committee authorised new regulations that mean that lorries will soon be required to have longer, more aerodynamic cabs.