Thursday

21st Sep 2017

EU commissioner condemns 'delay' in post-Dieselgate reform

  • Bienkowska: 'There is systematic failure in the type approval system in Europe.' (Photo: European Commission)

EU industry commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska has expressed her frustration towards member states' “delay” in moving forward with a reform of how car types are approved in Europe.

“There is no time to lose. We really need a robust new type approval system. It's been more than a year now,” she said at a ministerial meeting in Brussels on Monday (20 February).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  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.

Bienkowska proposed the reform in January 2016, four months after the Dieselgate scandal erupted, which saw Volkswagen cheating on emissions tests.

But while the European Parliament's lead inquiry committee voted on its version of the legislative proposal earlier this month, the Council – where member states gather – still has several outstanding issues.

For example, they do not agree on whether to accept the European Commission's proposal to have more oversight and emissions testing at EU level, or to require from national approving authorities that they check each other in peer-reviews.

Maltese economy minister Christian Cardona, who chaired the meeting because his country holds the six-month rotating presidency, said he hoped ministers could come to a compromise in May.

While Bienkowska thanked the Maltese for their efforts, she said there was “too little progress to show in Council”.

She repeated a request she made in November to speed up the process, and a statement she made in front of MEPs recently, that the Dieselgate affair has not significantly changed "some" member states' attitudes.

“Let me be clear. This is not only about Volkswagen,” she said. “There is systematic failure in the type approval system in Europe.”

While the Polish commissioner did not name specific countries, opposition against greater EU oversight is coming from several large member states, including Germany and Italy.

These two countries' representatives gave general statements on Monday, saying they supported efforts to “reinforce” and “strengthen” the system, without publicly stating their vision on increased EU oversight.

According to the commissioner, the current system “is not credible at all”.

“It's really a bad signal to the public opinion that it takes so much time in the Council to push forward such a reasonable – and good for the citizens and consumers – proposal,” said Bienkowska.

After the meeting, Maltese minister Cardona told journalists that the Maltese council presidency is “very committed” to reaching a compromise among member states “as soon as possible”.

He noted that the proposal was “highly complex” both from a political and technical perspective, and that “consultation with industry takes time”.

“We have doubled our resources in terms of this dossier. Give us some time please,” said Cardona.

Investigation

Dieselgate: MEPs want to give EU more testing powers

EU Commission should have power to veto national car testing programmes, MEPs in lead committee agreed. Meanwhile EU commissioner Bienkowska says member states have learned little from emissions crisis.

Analysis

Bayer-Monsanto merger could reshape EU food sector

Mega-mergers in the food sector have become commonplace, but EU laws do little to help it keep check on the impact this could have on the environment, public health, and food security.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUGermany Stands Ready to Deepen Cooperation With China
  2. World VisionFirst Ever Young People Consultation to Discuss the Much Needed Peace in Europe
  3. European Jewish CongressGermany First Country to Adopt Working Definition of Antisemitism
  4. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  5. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought
  6. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  8. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  9. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  10. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  11. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel
  12. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi Urges Bigger Global Role for Emerging Economies