Monday

18th Dec 2017

Investigation

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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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. Dialogue PlatformThe Gülen Community: Who to Believe - Politicians or Actions?" by Thomas Michel
  2. Plastics Recyclers Europe65% plastics recycling rate attainable by 2025 new study shows
  3. European Heart NetworkCommissioner Andriukaitis' Address to EHN on the Occasion of Its 25th Anniversary
  4. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  5. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  6. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  10. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  12. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties

Latest News

  1. Far-right enters government in Austria
  2. UK should work more closely with MEPs on Brexit
  3. EU set to probe Ikea tax affairs
  4. Estonia's last chance to land green energy results
  5. Catalonia, Brexit, and Uber on EU agenda This WEEK
  6. Macron and Merkel take tough line on Poland
  7. Eurozone future needs structural reforms, EU leaders told
  8. Showdown EU vote on asylum looking likely for next June