Necessary consequences from emissions scandal / important step to level playing field

Today, the European Commission presented its proposal for a new control system for cars and thereby drew the right consequences from the emissions scandal. Internal market spokesman, Dr. Andreas Schwab, and environmental policy spokesman, Dr. Peter Liese, of the EPP-Group in the European Parliament welcomed the proposal. According to them, it is right that the European Commission takes a close look on the member states' inspection work. In addition, it is planned that Member States may check each other, which means that. That means, for example when in Paris fine dust alarm appears, the German authorities can check if German or Italian cars actually comply with the pollution limit.

“We welcome the initiative of the European Commission. However, the market surveillance has to be improved not only in the car sector. The proposal to segment the vehicles after place of manufacture can’t be in the interest of the internal market. Here we need a European approach", said Andreas Schwab. Moreover, the proposal foresees to unbundle economic relations between testing companies and car industry. It is certainly positive that any dependencies of the test companies are consequently eliminated from individual companies.

"Nitrous gases, fine dust particles and other pollutants are harming our health. According to the European Commission, every year we have 400,000 premature deaths because of bad air. Cities and municipalities have difficulties complying with the EU’s air quality standards. Therefore, we have to combat the pollutants at source. That means for example that the latest emission control technology has to be used to make diesel cars cleaner. Since this has not happened in the past and we have not discovered the VW scandal in Europe, but had to rely on the United States, we have to urgently draw the consequences. Therefore, I welcome the Commission's plans and will work for a quick and ambitious implementation", said Peter Liese.

The fact that the European Commission has so quickly presented the proposal after becoming aware of the abuses is also a response to a vote of the Environment Committee in the European Parliament. The committee rejected the proposal for the so-called "Real Driving Emissions” (RDE) in December by large majority. The proposal was developed by experts from the Member States and provides that in the future emissions shall no longer be measured exclusively in laboratory, but actually in on-the-road testing. For this, a conformity factor of 2.1 or 1.5 was introduced. The majority of the Environment Committee considered these conformity factors too generous. Now, the plenary of the European Parliament must decide in its next meeting. "I understand this position, especially since the responsible DG (not DG ENVI but DG GROW) first suggested factors of 1.6 and 1.2. However, there would be no improvement to the environment by a rejection of the proposal" Liese said. "Therefore, today's proposal to improve market surveillance is an important precondition for ust to adopt the RDE", Schwab and Liese.