Saturday

25th May 2019

Belgian official feels 'deceived' by car industry

  • The region of Brussels is planning to ban old diesel cars (Photo: Peter Teffer)

The discrepancy between emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) on the road and in test laboratories came back into the political limelight in Belgium on Thursday (2 June), as test results showed that diesel cars emitted on average three to four times as much NOx as EU limits allowed for.

“We are being deceived by the automotive industry,” an angry transport and environment minister for the Wallonia region said.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

“Nothing proves that the car manufacturers have committed fraud. But these results show without a doubt that the European tests are useless,” said minister Carlo Di Antonio.

The minister had 38 diesel cars tested, and four of them exceeded the limits by five times, Belgian newspapers De Tijd and L'Echo reported.

European Commission spokeswoman Lucia Caudet told reporters that the discrepancy was known already, and that the commission is still analysing similar investigations by the German and UK authorities, published at the end of April.

“We still don't have enough information to draw definitive conclusions,” said Caudet.

The news came on the same day as it emerged in the Belgian press that the regional government of Brussels is planning to introduce a low emissions zone in the country's - and the EU's - capital city.

As of 2018, diesel cars in the Euro 1 category, and later also those in the Euro 2 category, will be banned, Le Soir newspaper said.

Examples of Euro 1 cars include Peugeot 205, Ford Escort and Opel Astra I, while Euro 2 includes the VW Golf IV, Renault Megan I and Citroen Xantia.

As cities and regions are struggling to stay below emissions ceilings, they are looking towards options like banning the most polluting cars from their cities.

Read more about dieselgate in our investigation section

News in Brief

  1. UK's May announces June 7 resignation date
  2. Ireland votes for EU election and divorce referendum
  3. Report: May to announce resignation plan on Friday
  4. Leading politicians: time for EU to have female leaders
  5. Poll: Finland's Green party to surge in EU elections
  6. High demand for postal voting in Denmark
  7. Some EU citizens turned away at UK polling stations
  8. Switzerland unlikely to sign draft EU deal

Greens commit to air quality 'super commissioner'

Following an investigation into the Dieselgate scandal, the European Parliament recommended a single commissioner should be responsible for both air quality and setting industrial standards. But only the Greens want to commit to carry out that advice.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  3. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  4. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  5. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  6. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  11. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  12. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year

Latest News

  1. Irish greens take Dublin in second EU exit poll
  2. EU election results to trigger top jobs scramble This WEEK
  3. Don't tell the Dutch - but Timmermans 'won'
  4. EU says goodbye to May with 'respect'
  5. Strache scandal: how big a hit will Austrian far-right take?
  6. Italy train row exposes competing views of EU
  7. Dutch socialists on top in first EP election exit poll
  8. No usage data kept for EU parliament's 'Citizens' App'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us