Saturday

3rd Dec 2022

Nothing to hide on Dieselgate, says EU science body

  • Sucha: 'nothing to hide' (Photo: European Commission)

The EU's science body has dismissed suggestions that a senior emissions expert was shunted aside because of the Dieselgate scandal.

Vladimir Sucha, head of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), told EUobserver on Wednesday (5 October) that the reshuffle had been planned before the Volkswagen scandal broke in September 2015.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Emissions expert Giovanni De Santi left his post as director of the JRC's Institute for Energy and Transport on 1 July, in the middle of a European Parliament investigation into the Dieselgate scandal, and ahead of a crucial reform in car approvals legislation.

But Sucha insisted that the reshuffle was no surprise, as De Santi had been in his post for nine years.

Moreover, as director, De Santi had become less involved in daily research into emissions anyway, and the JRC still has many emissions experts, Sucha said.

Sucha also expressed disappointment with how the JRC was sometimes portrayed after the Volkswagen scandal broke.

Some left-wing MEPs in the Dieselgate inquiry committee suspect that the publication of findings on real-world emissions from passenger cars was delayed for several months in 2010, but no documented proof has been uncovered yet.

Sucha rebuffed this suspicion, insisting that the JRC had “nothing to hide”.

Instead, he noted that the JRC's development of a new on-road measurement system of emissions was actually an important achievement, unrivalled anywhere in the world.

The new system is currently being used to monitor real driving emissions, but from September 2017 will be part of the official tests cars need to pass before they can be sold in Europe.

'Clumsy'

Sucha did admit that the way an interview request by this website with De Santi was handled may have been somewhat “clumsy”.

Last May, this website had an appointment to meet with De Santi in the Netherlands, but the interview was cancelled the day before.

Instead, EUobserver was told to put questions in writing, which in the end were answered by the EU commission's spokeswoman for industry affairs, suggesting that De Santi was being shielded from the press.

But in this case too, Sucha said there were no ulterior motives.

The JRC chief made his remarks during a dinner with journalists held a day before a press trip of the institute's facility in Italy.

EU commission reshuffles car emissions expert

Move takes place amidst frustration with MEPs investigating dieselgate over lack of cooperation from the commission's in-house think tank. An interview was prevented from taking place.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  4. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  5. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos

Latest News

  1. EU must break Orbán's veto on a tax rate for multinationals
  2. Belarus dictator's family loves EU luxuries, flight data shows
  3. How Berlin and Paris sold-out the EU corporate due diligence law
  4. Turkey's EU-funded detention centres ripe with abuse: NGO
  5. In green subsidy race, EU should not imitate US
  6. EU Commission proposes suspending billions to Hungary
  7. EU: Russian assets to be returned in case of peace treaty
  8. Frontex leadership candidates grilled by MEPs

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us