The Slovenia Times

Truckers at war



It all begun when Slovenia, as a European member state, started executing the European legislation stating that vehicles from all non-EU member states needed to pay a levy when entering the EU zone if they did not have a CEMT allowance. Croatian truck drivers trying to enter the EU zone were therefore being turned back occasionally at the Slovenian border because their papers did not meet the demands set by the legislation. This infuriated a lot of drivers who accused Slovenia of deliberately and mischievously complicating and delaying the border procedures. Slovenian authorities strongly refuted the claims and explained that they were only following instructions received from the EU institutions responsible for overseeing the transportation of goods inside the European Union. The Croatian's denounced Slovenia saying that it was guilty of provoking a so-called truckers war between the neighbouring states and decided to take steps to secure their position. In order to do it effectively, the Croatian Ministry of Transport immediately came up with a reciprocal rule, which severely restricted the passage of Slovenian trucks across the border between the states. Croatian border officials began demanding licences and allowances that aren't required inside the European Union, nor were they previously required for the transportation of goods between Slovenia and Croatia. This seriously impacted upon Slovenia's transport workers, especially truck drivers, who protested against the measures taken by the Croatians and forced the Slovenian Ministry of Transport and the Chamber of Craft into jointly trying to negotiate an easing of the latest restrictions. They explained that the actions carried out by Slovenian custom officials were not taken with any hostile intent. They proposed the formation of a bilateral commission to help explain to Croatian officials the new European legislation governing cargo transportation across EU member states. At the same time, Slovenian officials sent a letter to Brussels asking them to clarify whether their execution of the 'controversial' rule was correct or not. The answer was affirmative; they also made it clear that this type of misunderstanding between two states must be resolved at a bilateral level. Officials from the Slovenian Ministry of Transport also explained to their Croatian counterparts that customs officers at the border crossings with non-EU states were warned by the German Customs Office that many vehicles originating from outside the EU had been allowed to enter the EU zone without the proper paperwork. Slovenia, as a country bordering with the so-called 'third countries', has an obligation to ensure that truck drivers enter the EU legally. Croatia responded by saying that Hungary, which is also an EU member state, had not being causing their drivers any such trouble. The Slovenian Minister of Transport, Janez Bozic, suggested to his Croatian counterpart, Bozidar Kalmeta, that they meet as soon as possible to find a sensible way out of the mess, which is not doing anyone any good.


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