Car emissions: EMIS committee hearings gearing up
Members of the Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector (EMIS) concluded the first cluster of hearings where representatives of various academic institutes, trade associations and non-governmental organisations shared their expertise on measuring and reducing car emissions. Committee will now focus on car manufacturers and parts suppliers, and former and current EU Commissioners with several hearings each week up until and immediately after the summer break.
Since its constituent meeting on 2 March, EMIS held 7 meetings with 29 hours of hearings of 20 participants who also submitted in advance their answers to approximately 200 questions. Besides, committee commissioned a study on the legal obligations relating to emission measurement in the EU automotive sector, which was provided via the European Parliament department on economic and scientific policy.
Furthermore, EMIS requested from the Joint Research Centre (JRC) all documents related to the work and studies conducted as of 2005 by the JRC Institute for Energy and Transport on the measurement of vehicle emissions, in particular those addressing the question of NOx emission measurement discrepancies, as well as on the question of defeat devices, including all communications including letters and emails regarding this matter.
In addition, the committee also requested from the Commission all documentation related to the activities of various expert groups such as the Technical Committee on Motor vehicles (TCMV), the working group on real driving emissions of light duty vehicles (RDE-LDV), the Type- Approval Authorities Expert Group (TAAEG) and the CARS 21 High Level Group, as well as any formal and informal correspondence between the Commission and the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).
More than 2 months later Members still haven't received a substantial part of them as the Commission is imposing on them the signature of a solemn declaration of non-disclosure, which is required only for classified information. This goes against the Framework Agreement between European Parliament and the Commission. All 28 Member States have already given their consent to share these documents with EMIS, without requiring a solemn declaration.
Next in the hot seat - car manufacturers and Commissioners
Just before the summer break a "triple bill" of EMIS committee hearings will take place on Wednesday, 13 and Thursday, 14 July. On Wednesday morning, members will first vote on their interim report, drafted by co- rapporteurs Pablo Zalba Bidegain (EPP, ES) and Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy (ALDE, NL), which is a summary of committee's activities of thus far and outlines the working programme for the second half of its one-year mandate.
Immediately after the votes hearings of Gaspar Gascon Abellan, executive vice-president of Renault Group in charge of engineering, and of Ulrich Eichhorn, chief technology officer of the Volkswagen Group will take place.
Next morning Paul Greening, emission and fuels director at the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) will answer to members' questions, followed by representatives of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.
In the afternoon first of the invited politicians, Stavros Dimas, Commissioner for the Environment from 2004 to 2010 will have the opportunity to explain to the Committee how the legislative proposals on cutting car emissions were prepared during his mandate.
Günter Verheugen, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship from 2004 to 2010, another invitee who was also scheduled to testify on Thursday, has declined to participate despite interventions from EMIS Chair Kathleen Van Brempt and EP President Martin Schulz. Nevertheless, Committee keeps a free time slot for an hour and half hearing in case Mr Verheugen will change his mind.
You can find additional information next to the text and on Committee website.
Disclaimer: this is an informal message intended to help journalists covering the work of the European Parliament. It is neither an official press release nor a comprehensive record of proceedings.