Saturday, December 9, 2023

Italy to Seek EU Intervention on Dispute with Austria

Italy's Transport Minister plans EU Court action over Tyrolean transit conflict with Austria. Border controls at stake.

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Lisa Fischer
Lisa Fischer
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Austria Transit Dispute

Italy’s Transport Minister, Matteo Salvini, declares intent to approach the EU Court of Justice regarding the Brenner Pass conflict with Austria. Salvini threatens heightened border controls for Austrian vehicles during an October visit. He criticizes EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for not initiating EU infringement proceedings against Austria.

Salvini asserts trust in the EU Court of Justice and emphasizes the government’s determination to address the conflict.

He underscores the need to end the ongoing dispute over Tyrolean anti-transit measures. Salvini refers to Article 259, which allows EU member states to appeal to the ECJ if they believe another member state violated treaty obligations.

He criticizes Austria’s transit measures as an act of political arrogance. Salvini deems it unfair competition against entrepreneurs and freight forwarders from Italy, Germany, and Europe.

Tyrol’s governor, Anton Mattle, affirms the state’s commitment to transit measures and emphasizes local support. He urges Italy to prioritize environmental concerns and reduce traffic for climate protection.

Italian freight associations ANITA and Conftrasporto support Salvini’s approach, anticipating clarity on the transit issue from the EU Court of Justice. Salvini also criticizes Austria’s plans for extraordinary border controls due to the refugee situation.

He plans to travel to Brenner in October to assess the situation. Salvini insists on fair treatment for Italy within the EU and proposes potential border control tightening for Austrian vehicles.

Chancellor Karl Nehammer contemplates extraordinary border controls with Italy in response to the situation in Lampedusa. Tyrol’s state police director, Helmut Tomac, notes increased checks in the hinterland.

EU Commission President Von der Leyen proposes mediation discussions involving Austria, Germany, and Italy to resolve the transit conflict. Salvini continues to vehemently oppose Tyrolean anti-transit measures.

At the regional level, Bavaria, Tyrol, and South Tyrol leaders present a “slot system” for cross-border traffic management. However, Salvini remains negative, insisting on lifting transit restrictions before negotiations.

The Tyrolean state government remains committed to the measures until a broader European solution is reached.

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