Tuesday

28th Mar 2017

Investigation

Dieselgate MEPs ask colleagues to 'reject status quo'

  • Chairwoman Kathleen Van Brempt with one of the hearing's witnesses, former environment commissioner Potocnik (Photo: European Parliament)

The European Parliament's Dieselgate inquiry committee is trying to prevent a proposal to reform the EU's system of car approvals from being watered down.

The chairwoman of the committee, centre-left Belgian MEP Kathleen Van Brempt, said in a letter to her counterpart in the committee on the internal market and consumer protection (Imco) Vicky Ford, that the committee had “strong support” for the legislative proposal the European Commission tabled in January.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The letter, dated Friday (21 October), was seen by this website.

The reform of the so-called type approval system had already been planned, but was spiced up after it emerged in September 2015 that Volkswagen Group had been able to fool regulators with cheating software.

The commission proposed greater EU oversight, although it also suggested several powers should remain with member states.

“We believe that this proposal includes the bare minimum requirements that the new EU type approval system should have,” Van Brempt wrote.

“In our view, these requirements should be preserved, and all attempts to dilute this much-needed reform and to keep the inefficient and dysfunctional status quo must be rejected.”

The suggestion that the proposal is being diluted, refers to the draft report written by Ford's political friend, British Conservative MEP Daniel Dalton.

Dalton recently told EUobserver that he believed if the commission would have more oversight, it might “undermine the current system”, and see national authorities grow lax.

Some MEPs have suggested that the legislation should go even further than what the commission proposed and that the EU should set up an independent EU agency responsible for approving cars.

Van Brempt writing to Imco said it “is not yet ready to express a definitive preference for one or the other system”, but that members from all political groups agreed “that the status quo does not represent an option”.

The Imco committee will discuss the legislative file again on 9 November.

Dieselgate shows weakness of EU federalism-lite

EU states are hesitant to transfer power to Brussels, but the case of how car certification works, or doesn't work, in practice gives few arguments to supporters of the status quo.

Analysis

EU governments duck responsibility on dieselgate

If VW had cheated on emissions in the Netherlands, its fine would have been just €19,500. “I didn't think about the fines before,” the Dutch transport minister says.

EU told of possible emission cheating in 2012

The Joint Research Centre said in 2012 that a diesel vehicle was emitting much more nitrogen oxide (NOx) when the outside temperature was different from the laboratory parameters.

Dieselgate report 'cannot be ignored'

“Dieselgate could have been avoided if member states and the Commission had followed European law. That is quite something,” rapporteur said.

News in Brief

  1. Scottish MPs give go ahead to seek referendum
  2. Uber pulls out of Denmark over new taxi-regulation
  3. EU court validates sanctions on Russia's Rosneft
  4. Luxembourg to team up with Ireland in Apple tax appeal
  5. EU majority against GM crops, but not enough to block them
  6. Turkish referendum voting starts in Europe
  7. Le Pen says she lacks election funds
  8. UN dinner for Cyprus leaders to restart stalled peace talks

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. The Idealist QuarterlyCan Progressive Stories Survive Our Post-Truth Era? After-Work Discussion on 6 April
  2. ACCAG20 Citizens Want 'Big Picture' Tax Policymaking, According to Global Survey
  3. Belgrade Security ForumCall for Papers: European Union as a Global Crisis Manager - Deadline 30 April
  4. European Gaming & Betting Association60 Years Rome Treaty – 60 Years Building an Internal Market
  5. Malta EU 2017New EU Rules to Prevent Terrorism and Give More Rights to Victims Approved
  6. European Jewish Congress"Extremists Still Have Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe" Says EJC President
  7. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  8. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  9. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  10. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  12. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans