Today, the UE Council has finally reached a political agreement on the Eurovignette dossier during the meeting of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council.

Initially some delegations claimed that they needed some amendments on the compromise text drafted by the Belgian Presidency; however, finally, a qualified majority of Member States agreed on a new version of the compromise text which only contains a few modifications. Amendments to the Belgian compromise text include:

  • Exemption of EURO VI vehicles from air pollution charges: The Council finally agreed to exempt the least polluting vehicle class until 4 years (the Belgian compromise proposed 2 years) after the date of entry into force of the regulation.
  • Maximum toll variation to reduce congestion and the duration for its application: The Council agreed to take out all provisions regarding a congestion charge but agreed to fix a maximum toll variation at 170% (the Belgian compromise proposed 300%) above the maximum level of the weighted average toll for peak hours. Moreover, the Council agreed with the amount of the peak hours period of 5 hours (the Belgian compromise proposed 6 hours).

With this political agreement, the Council has decided to no longer maintain the compulsory earmarking of revenues generated by an external cost charge, which was originally suggested by the Commission and the European Parliament.