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Social provisions

Road transport is an essential mode of transport with a very important contribution to the GDP and which employs almost 5 million people in the EU. Making transport safer and more secure is essential in improving working conditions in the sector. Better working conditions in turn contribute to a safer transport environment.

The opening of transport markets in Europe significantly increased the competitive pressure on operators and their mobile workers. In this context social standards with an influence on the cost structure needed to be harmonised to guarantee good working conditions, and to protect the health and safety of workers.

Good working conditions can also contribute to attract young people to enter the profession in a time characterised by an increasing shortage of qualified staff.

The EU has thus established over the years a framework of social rules for goods and passenger road transport operators with three complementary goals:

  • to ensure the adequate social protection of road transport workers;
  • to guarantee a fair competition between the undertakings;
  • and to improve road safety by averting road fatigue.

This section provides an overview of the different rules developed at an EU level, including those which govern: driving time and rest periods, working time, enforcement, and the recording device tachograph.