Freight carriers denounce partial Schengen deal as mere ‘dust in the eyes’

The representatives of the largest freight carriers organization in western Romania consider that the agreement regarding Romania’s partial Schengen admission for sea and air travel is just a hoodwinking move and call on the government to step up actions to obtain in 2024 accession by land too, bringing to mind that the Romanian economy and society “are deeply affected by queues at the borders.”

Vice-president of the “Europa 2002” Freight Carriers Employers’ Association (APTE 2002) Dorin Pop declared for AGERPRES on Thursday that a partial accession to Schengen will have no noticeable effects on the economy and society.

“What Romania obtained from negotiations with Austria is mere dust in the eyes, perhaps not even that. Air and naval traffic is minimal in Romania compared to land traffic, whether we speak about people or goods. Airport controls will still exist for documents, while kilometers-long queues at land borders will linger on. For example, on Wednesday afternoon the truck queue at the border with Hungary was stretching on four kilometers, and the waiting time for cars on the outbound was of several hours. The society and the economy are deeply affected by border queues. As the representative organization of the freight transport branch, we are very disappointed with this agreement and demand the stepping up of actions and negotiations to secure a concrete accession date in 2024 with land borders too,” said Dorin Pop.

He said that if the land borders are kept in place, 2024 will be a very difficult year for carriers “because road taxes will increase throughout Europe, cargo and truck insurance has grown more expensive, as did vehicle liability insurance policies. All these costs will eventually drive shelf prices higher.”

APTE 2002, based in the western city of Arad, is the largest freight carriers organization in western Romania, representing about 2,200 companies in the industry, which operate over 15,000 trucks.