Dieselgate: Member states not complying with existing legislation must be penalised, say S&Ds

Dieselgate: Member states not complying with existing legislation must be penalised, say S&Ds

Today, Socialists and Democrats backed the ongoing work by the European Parliament’s committee of inquiry into emission measurements in the automotive sector (EMIS), which is shedding light on the shortcomings and mistakes that led to the so-called "Dieselgate" scandal.

The first interim report of the EMIS committee, six months after it was created, was voted on this morning in Strasbourg. It calls on the Commission and the member states to fully cooperate according to the principal of loyal cooperation so that the committee can continue its work and make appropriate recommendations.

As part of its work, EMIS has conducted several hearings with former and current commissioners. Yesterday evening, commissioners Elżbieta Bieńkowska (industry) and Karmenu Vella (environment) also testified in front of the 45 members of the EMIS committee.

S&D spokesperson on the Dieselgate scandal, Seb Dance MEP said:

"Almost a year has passed since the Dieselgate scandal broke and yet member states continue to drag their feet on the investigation and the recall and fixing of 'defeated' cars. The law is in place for the mandatory recall and repair of vehicles affected, and even the withdrawal of the type approval, and yet member states, seemingly terrified of upsetting the car companies, appear unwilling to act.

"We were happy to hear Commissioner Bieńkowska’s promise that infringement procedures will be opened against some member states in the coming months.

"We need a harmonised and coordinated European recall programme to protect our citizens’ health and to deliver to consumers."

MEP Christine Revault d'Allonnes-Bonnefoy, who negotiated the EMIS report on behalf of the S&Ds, said:

"The investigation is not over, but we can already see that it is very difficult to enforce the law and to control and penalise the infringements. Today the situation is incomprehensible in the eyes of the citizens who themselves are obliged to respect the law. The chain of control and sanctions, notably when it has become a public health issue, has not worked and this damages the image of Europe and the European institutions a little more each day.

"It is our responsibility to draw up all the consequences of this affair, which could have been avoided if all parties had respected the law and had undertaken the necessary actions. The adoption of this interim report is a first step, but the work is far from over. We particularly need to establish a transparent certification system which is totally independent and far from any conflict of interests, with effective market monitoring and surveillance mechanisms at a European level.

"The Socialists and Democrats, who pushed for the setting up of the commission of inquiry, are now completely mobilized for transparency to prevent such a scandal happening again."