Bulgaria’s national Ombudsman Maya Manolova has sent a letter to the European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly requesting assistance ...

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Bulgaria’s national Ombudsman Maya Manolova has sent a letter to the European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly requesting assistance in connection with the controversial legislative amendments to the Mobility Package 1, also known as the Macron plan, which are considered as detrimental to Bulgarian road hauliers, the press office of the Ombudsman said on 11th of January.

The ombudsman also addressed letters to the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani asking for the amendments not to be voted on by the current European Parliament in view of its expiring mandate.

In the three letters, Manolova states that "the adoption of the proposed amendments seriously affects the fundamental rights of road hauliers from all eastern European countries, while grossly disturbing the functioning of the common market, competitiveness, right of access and free movement of people."

According to her, the new requirements of the drivers' obligation to return home every four months, the ban on sleeping in the cabins of the trucks, in the absence of guarded parking lots and motels and the new payment rules, will be a heavy blow for the Bulgarian hauliers and will affect more than 150,000 drivers and their families.

"Following the problem of the double standard of foods from the same brands, the unequal and discriminatory treatment of business organisations and Bulgarian citizens is another manifestation of the "two-speed Europe" policy or, as it has recently turned out," two-standards Europe" says Manolova.

The Ombudsman supports the idea of introducing rules, but believes that "this restrictive and protectionist approach does not comply with EU principles and the common market and leads to unequal treatment of some of the EU's subjects."

She calls for a firm stance on the European Ombudsman against the adoption of the amendments to the Mobility 1 package, which violate fundamental rights and principles of the functioning of the EU common market.