It also plans to abolish the minimum 30-minute advance notice requirement. This has been advanced by the Government, which is preparing a new regulation of vehicles for hire with driver (VTC) that adapts to the latest rulings affecting other autonomous communities. The Government is awaiting the Constitutional Court’s ruling on the Balearic legislation.
The Government is preparing a new regulation of vehicles for hire with driver (VTC) with which it intends to avoid being forced to grant an avalanche of pending licences, and in which it also proposes to abolish the minimum 30-minute notice period for hiring in the Community. According to sources from the Ministry of Housing, Territory and Mobility, the islands need to adapt their regulations as a result of several rulings affecting VTCs. This was reported by Europa Press.
On the one hand, the Supreme Court ruled last February on a decree of the Basque Country annulling the article that required VTCs to hire 30 minutes in advance, a measure also contained in the Balearic regulation. On the other hand, last June, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), in a ruling on the regulation of the Barcelona metropolitan area, opposed the limitation of one VTC licence for every three taxi licences. As a result of this ruling, more than 10,000 applications for VTC licences have been submitted in the Balearic Islands in 2023 alone, especially in Ibiza and Mallorca.
Balearics awaiting Constitutional Court ruling on its legislation
This, at a time when the Government is waiting for the Constitutional Court to rule on the Balearic legislation. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court referred a question of unconstitutionality to the Constitutional Court on the Balearic rule (Decree Law 1/2019), and in June the TC admitted it for processing. The Supreme Court argued that the minimum advance notice required could imply a violation of article 38 of the Constitution, on the freedom of enterprise in the framework of the market economy.
The Regional Ministry fears that thousands of licences will end up being granted by a court ruling if a new regulation is not finally established. Mobilititat has not specified what the formula for limiting the granting of licences would be, although it has recalled that a state Royal Decree gave the communities leeway to establish limitations based on environmental and traffic congestion criteria. According to the ministry, the new regulation is not yet finalised and is currently in the negotiation phase with the affected councils and economic sectors, with whom meetings have already been held. In any case, approval of the regulation is not imminent. The future regulation, “in addition to introducing improvements in sustainability, traffic and mobility, will improve the competitiveness and modernisation of the taxi sector” and improve mobility in general, according to Mobilitat.
The arrival of Uber in Mallorca and Eivissa this year has generated discontent among taxi bosses, who have accused the company of not complying with the 30 minutes’ notice period. Uber’s general manager in Spain, Felipe Fernández, remarked that far from a confrontation with the taxi sector, what they aspire to is to weave alliances and agreements so that “all taxis in Mallorca” join the application in the coming years.