German highway toll ‘illegal under EU law’

German plans to impose a highway toll for foreigners is against EU law, according to the Research Services of the German Bundestag.

German highway toll 'illegal under EU law'
Photo: APA (Archiv/dpa)

The lawyers presented a report of 23 pages stating that German Minster of Traffic Alexander Dobrindt's plan would lead to an "indirect discrimination of EU citizens." This was announced by German news weeklies "Bild am Sonntag" and "Der Spiegel".

Dobrindt wants to impose a motorway tax of about €100 annually on everyone. However, German drivers themselves will be able to reclaim the highway toll as a tax write-off.

Austria, which has its own motorway tolls, valid for everyone including Austrians and Germans, was amongst the first to complain about the German plans. Up until now, there has been no toll at all on German motorways, among the most heavily frequented in Europe.

Austrian Infrastructure and Transport Minister Doris Bures (Social Democrats/SPÖ) had always criticised the German plan saying that it was against EU law. She said if she was not able to find a solution with Dobrindt there would either be proceedings against Germany on violation of the EU treaty, or a case would be brought before the European Court.

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