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Parliamentary questions
27 February 2009
WRITTEN QUESTION by Corien Wortmann-Kool (PPE‑DE) to the Commission

 Subject: European rules on car-scrapping premiums

The Euro norms have substantially reduced pollutant emissions from cars in the EU and the intention is that Euro 5 (to be introduced in September 2009) and Euro 6 (to be introduced in September 2014) will cut them even further. The Euro 5 norm alone will reduce particulate emissions by 80 % and nitrogen emissions by 20 % by comparison with Euro 4, whilst Euro 4 itself brought about enormous cuts in emissions of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, particulates and nitrogen by comparison with earlier norms.

The development of more stringent standards is thus essential if pollution from cars is to be reduced. Another measure which is at least as effective involves taking the oldest categories of cars off the roads. One Euro 1 engine (manufactured between 1992 and 1996) alone produces the same volume of emissions as five Euro 5 engines. A small percentage of the cars on the road thus account for a hugely disproportionate share of damaging emissions. For that reason, more and more Member States, including Germany, France, Austria and Spain, are introducing rules on premiums for the scrapping of old cars. In the Netherlands as well, more and more people are calling for the introduction of similar rules, on the basis of which car owners would receive a subsidy if they trade in an old vehicle for a new one.

Since some Member States are introducing car-scrapping premiums and some are not, there is a risk that imports of old cars into countries which offer scrapping premiums may increase sharply, reducing the impact of the scheme in the country in question. There is also a risk of competition developing between Member States. The introduction of European rules or guidelines on the award of scrapping premiums would prevent this, and indeed the Czech Presidency recently called for such a step, partly as a response to the current problems affecting automobile manufacturers.

1. Does the Commission take the view that car-scrapping premiums represent an effective way of combating pollutant emissions?

2. What view does the Commission take of the emergence of differing rules on car-scrapping premiums in various Member States? Is the Commission aware that this may give rise to problems?

3. Is the Commission prepared to propose European rules on car-scrapping premiums, or guidelines for such rules? If so, why, and if not, why not?

Original language of question: NLOJ C 189, 13/07/2010
Last updated: 5 March 2009Legal notice