CAR TOLL

Germany's European Roadblock

Ein Maut-Schild steht am 30.10.2014 an einer Zufahrtstraße zum Warnowtunnel in Rostock (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern). Die geänderten Pläne von Verkehrsminister Alexander Dobrindt (CSU) für eine Pkw-Maut werden mit Spannung erwartet. Foto: Bernd Wüstneck/dpa [ Rechtehinweis: Verwendung weltweit, usage worldwide ]
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    A ruling against Germany’s planned car toll by the European Court of Justice will torpedo one of the Christian Social Union party’s main campaign promises from the 2013 federal elections.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The toll would be levied on both domestic and foreign-registered cars in the form of a pass to use Germany’s highway system.
    • A reduction in the motor vehicle tax would offset the cost of the toll for the owners of cars registered in Germany.
    • The German government claims the toll system would bring in €500 million in revenue.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

Unable to resolve their differences despite months of negotiations, Brussels and Berlin will now face off in Europe’s highest court over a toll levied on drivers in Germany.

The European Commission, the E.U. executive body, plans to sue Germany in the European Court of Justice over the planned car toll, alleging that it discriminates against foreign drivers.

For Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Christian Democrats, the new court case marks an embarrassing new chapter to a controversial law that she never wanted in the first place, but which she agreed to implement to placate her conservative Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union.

The nationwide toll, which was supposed to go into effect earlier this year, would be levied on both domestic and foreign-registered cars in the form of a pass to use Germany’s highways. But a reduction in the motor vehicle tax would offset the toll for the owners of cars registered in Germany.

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