Important step towards better protection of health and environment and to support municipalities

The European Commission is drawing drastic consequences from the emissions scandal. After the VW scandal and recently discovered further manipulations on cars, the EU Commission will shortly propose a completely new monitoring system. This was announced by the responsible Commissioner Elżbieta Bienkowska in a letter to the spokesperson of the largest group in the European Parliament (EPP Christian Democrats) in the environmental committee Dr. Peter Liese. Among other things, it is proposed that the European authority takes a good look on the member states' inspection work. Previously this was purely a national task. In addition, member states may check each other. That means, for example if in Paris fine dust alarm appears, German authorities can check if French or Italian cars actually comply with the pollution limit. Moreover, economic relations between testing companies and the car industry shell are unbundled. It has been widely criticized in the past that dependencies of the testing companies to single car companies do exist. "I highly welcome the announcement by the Commissioner. It was shameful for the EU and its member states that we were dependent on the assistance of the United States, to detect the manipulation at VW. This has revealed the weaknesses of our system. We need to pay more attention in Europe to the implementation of existing laws. This has always been a priority of my group. 400.000 people die prematurely because of air pollution. We may not leave municipalities which have difficulties complying with European clean air policy on their own" Liese said.

 

The Commission's announcement is a response to a vote of the ENVI Committee of the European Parliament. The Committee rejected by a large majority the proposal for the so-called "Real Driving Emissions" in December. The proposal was drawn up by experts from the Member States and provided that in the future emissions shall no longer be measured exclusively in laboratory but actually on the road. For this, a conformity factor of 2.1 or 1.5 was introduced. The majority of the ENVI Committee considers these conformity factors too generous. "I understand this position, since the responsible DG (not DG ENVI but DG GROW) first suggested factors of 1.6 and 1.2. However, if we reject the proposal, there would be no improvement for the environment. This is why we are working on a compromise. The proposal of the Commission to perform better monitoring is a crucial step in the context of this compromise", Liese concluded.

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