Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure EU-2021-4/1755 – measures in European Union
|Country||European Union , applies eu-wide (or beyond)|
|Time period||Open ended, started on 20 January 2021|
|Type||Non-binding recommendations or other texts|
Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Smoothing frictions or reallocation of workers
|Author||Barbara Surdykowska and Eurofound|
|Measure added||02 February 2021 (updated 05 February 2021)|
The International Road Transport Union (IRU) called the President of European Commission to prevent the collapse of supply chains due to COVID-19 restrictions on hauliers.
EU Member States are increasingly requiring all citizens, including professional goods transport drivers, to present negative COVID-19 tests, often PCR tests, to enter their territory if they come from specific high-risk regions. According to IRU professional international drivers do not have easy access to testing due to the nature of their job.
IRU is the world’s road transport organization that represents more than 3.5 million companies operating mobility and logistics services in over 100 countries.
In the open letter the IRU warns that faced with new COVID-19 strains, EU Member States are contemplating new or tighter restrictions on goods transport, including closing or controlling intra-EU borders and restricting truck drivers. This can damage vital supply chains for millions of EU citizens and businesses.
The example of the Dover blockade was cited where only 0.3% of the tens of thousands of drivers caught up in the crisis tested positive for COVID-19 and there was complete disruption at the border. In this respect IRU asked what would happen if the Dover crisis was repeated at multiple borders across the European continent with devastating consequences on EU supply chains.
IRU recalled that, in a joint statement of the European Council on 26 March 2020, EU Member States unanimously committed to ensure smooth border management for people and goods and preserve the functioning of the single market, based on the Commission’s guidance on implementing Green Lanes. This guidance includes the principle of no testing of goods transport drivers. 3 EU Member States renewed their commitment to implement Green Lanes on 28 October 2020, in the “Policy considerations for a pandemic and other major crisis contingency plan for the European freight transport sector”. Several EU Member States however are now on the verge of breaking their commitments by blocking access to professional goods transport drivers without a COVID-19 test.
Sector specific set of companies
||Does not apply to citizens|
No special funding required
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Role||Unknown||Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative|
|Form||Not applicable||Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
This is the own initiative of leading international road transport employers' organization.
Up to date there is no reaction from trade unions' side.
This case is sector-specific
|Economic area||Sector (NACE level 2)|
|H - Transportation And Storage||H49 Land transport and transport via pipelines|
This case is occupation-specific
|Occupation (ISCO level 2)|
|Drivers and mobile plant operators|
Eurofound (2021), Road freight: call for keeping borders and supply chains open, measure EU-2021-4/1755 (measures in European Union), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/EU-2021-4_1755.html
30 January 2023
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.