24th Mar 2018

Lead MEP says EU is weeks away from deal on car approvals

  • The current system of car approvals was deemed unfit for purpose when the Dieselgate emissions scandal emerged (Photo: Volkswagen)

EU negotiators should be able to reach a compromise deal on new rules governing car approvals, according to Daniel Dalton, member of the European Parliament.

Dalton, a Conservative MEP from the UK, told this website he is confident that he can strike a deal with the national governments represented in the Council of the EU.

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  • Dalton: 'We made good progress at the trilogue on several fronts but were not able to conclude everything' (Photo: European Parliament)

The MEP is the rapporteur on the file and therefore the lead negotiator for the Parliament.

The two sides held another negotiating round known in EU jargon as 'trilogues' on Thursday (23 November).

"We made good progress at the trilogue on several fronts but were not able to conclude everything," said Dalton in an emailed statement on Friday.

"I remain confident that agreement can be reached in the coming weeks, and that it will be a deal that is fair to both sides, and most importantly, citizens," he added.

The talks are about the reform of the way cars are tested and approved in the EU.

In January 2016, the European Commission proposed increased EU oversight in the wake of the Dieselgate emissions cheating scandal.

The national governments however are reluctant to share power over car approvals with the Commission.

According to leaked documents, reported on by this website on Tuesday, the Council aims to water down the Commission's proposal on several fronts.

An EU source close to the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told EUobserver that the new role of the Commission and market surveillance were the two main sticking points.

The Commission had proposed that it could also do emissions tests – and other tests related to car safety – to double-check the work of the national authorities.

The market surveillance disagreements are about the number and type of tests.

The source said that on Thursday "possible compromise solutions were proposed, but not agreed upon".

Additionally, the fee structure of market surveillance programmes, penalties, fines, and the date of application, were still open issues.

"If the mood stays as constructive as today, it is feasible to cover this in one trilogue," the contact said, noting that this implied "sufficient preparation" by lower-level staff on technical level.

There is no new date for the next trilogue yet.


Dieselgate disappointed car-loving commissioner

Industry commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska often finds herself on opposite sides to the car industry, referring to diesel engines as the "technology of the past".

Ministers water down post-Dieselgate reform

The EU commission wanted the power to hand out fines to cheating automakers, but the council limited the instances in which the commission can do so.

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