German car toll
Statement Spokesperson for Vice President Siim Kallas EU Commissioner responsible for Transport
- The Commission supports Germany's reflections on introducing the user pays principle for infrastructure financing (car tolls). For Germany, as for many other EU Member States, this is a logical way to fill the "investment gap", and pay for important and necessary investments in German infrastructure.
- The Commission has for months now made it very clear that it is open and willing to work with Germany to make sure the new road charging system is EU compatible. We very much welcomed the discussions with Minister Dobrindt last week in this regard.
- We see many positive elements in the concepts outlined by the Minister today, but until all the details are known and discussed there can be no green or red light from Brussels. Now it's time to sit down and hammer out the detail.
- Changes to Germany's existing car taxation scheme are German responsibility. If undertaken in the wider context of introducing road charging to secure infrastructure financing, they should not be directly aimed at discriminating of foreign drivers. Everybody should pay a fair share for using and maintaining roads. The Minister appears to try to take this into account, but we would need to see the details.
- We are ready and open to continue to work with Germany to ensure that this new system is fully in line with EU law and in particular the principle of non-discrimination.
- We trust that Germany will do everything necessary to meet both the spirit and letter of EU law.