Saturday

16th Dec 2017

Investigation

Bundestag to absolve German government on Dieselgate

  • The German government is not to blame for Dieselgate, say German MPs (Photo: Reuters)

Members of the lower house of the German parliament, the Bundestag, plan to fully exonerate the German government of any responsibility for emissions cheating by car manufacturers.

An investigative committee said in a draft report, seen by EUobserver, that the committee found “no reason” to criticise the German government.

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.

  • The draft report clearly showed where the authors' loyalties lie: with the current German coalition. (Photo: Pierre)

A separate inquiry, carried out by members of the European Parliament in Brussels, however, came to a very different conclusion.

MEPs found that maladministration had helped to cause the scandal.

“The member states’ failure to organise an efficient market surveillance system constitutes a contravention of EU law,” the MEPs' report said, referring to all member states, including Germany.

But the German committee's text, which almost went as far as idolising the German federal government, clearly revealed the political bias of the MPs – a majority of whom support the current German coalition.

MPs praised the German government for swift action, obliging Volkswagen Group (VW) to carry out a recall of all diesel cars with emissions-cheating software. But no mention is made of the fact that the Merkel's government has not fined VW for breaking the EU ban on such software.

Instead, “inadequate” European rules are blamed for Germany's lack of on-road testing of emissions before the so-called Dieselgate scandal broke in September 2015.

Over the past year-and-a-half, it became clear that Dieselgate stretched further than just VW's cheating. Other carmakers also bend the law by claiming they can break EU emissions norms because of an exception in the law.

But according to the German MPs, that was only possible because the EU law does not give “sufficient basis” for national watchdogs to determine if a piece of emissions software is illegal or not.

The German MPs also criticised the final report produced by the European Parliament's inquiry committee, saying the conclusions provided “few starting points for effective solutions”.

The text also mocked the Bundestag's two opposition parties, which had set up the German inquiry committee.

The opposition had accused the government of “failure of the state”, which has “proved itself in every respect as a PR flop without foundation”, the draft report said.

The text also noted openly that the work of the committee proved that it had not been “needed” in the first place, and that the matter could have been dealt with in the Bundestag's regular transport committee.

“The committee has not produced any relevant new findings,” the draft report said.

News in Brief

  1. EU adopts 'track-and-trace' tobacco system
  2. Luxembourg appeals Amazon tax decision
  3. EU leaders agree to open phase 2 of Brexit talks
  4. Juncker: May made 'big efforts' on Brexit
  5. Merkel took 'tough' line on Russia at EU summit
  6. EU leaders added line supporting 'two-state' solution
  7. EU leaders agree to 20 European Universities by 2024
  8. Belgian courts end legal proceedings against Puigdemont

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. Catalonia, Brexit, and Uber on EU agenda This WEEK
  2. Macron and Merkel take tough line on Poland
  3. Eurozone future needs structural reforms, EU leaders told
  4. Showdown EU vote on asylum looking likely for next June
  5. EU stresses unity as it launches next phase of Brexit talks
  6. Polish PM ready for EU sanctions scrap
  7. Dutchman to lead powerful euro working group
  8. EU mulls post-Brexit balance of euro and non-eurozone states