The Polish Prime Minister demanded the re-introduction of the European permit system in order to regulate the work of Ukrainian truck carriers who take the work of Polish ones and create delays at the Polish borders, which is why Polish truck drivers are protesting by blocking border crossings.
"The European system worked well until the spring of 2022, and then it was changed by the European Commission and today carriers are blocking the border," Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters on Monday.
After the beginning of the Russian invasion in February 2022, the EU, in order to support Kyiv, suspended the earlier system by which a limited number of licenses were issued to Ukrainian transporters, and Polish truckers claim that this is why their income has dropped.
The re-introduction of permits is the main demand of Polish truckers who have been blocking the main crossings between Poland and Ukraine since the beginning of November, denouncing "unfair competition" from their Ukrainian counterparts.
The blockade of Polish truckers has created endless lines of vehicles in both directions at the border and represents a major economic problem for Ukraine, which relies heavily on road traffic for its imports and exports.
On Monday, Poland and Ukraine agreed to reduce queues at border crossings so that Polish truckers would at least allow empty Ukrainian trucks to return to Ukraine, which has begun. The Polish truck drivers "showed their will for an agreement" by agreeing to let Ukrainian trucks in the opposite direction as well, but even then only empty, without cargo.
The Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Simon Sinkowski vel Sek, politically welcomed the decision, which allows at least empty Ukrainian trucks to leave the border crossings and the roads leading to them, thus shortening the queues, but he said that of course it will not solve the problem of cargo transportation.