Christel Schaldemose, MEP (DK, S&D Group)

On the road to market surveillance of cars in EU

Flickr/Hans Porochelt/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Following more than two years of hard work, we finally made an agreement on the new rules for type approval of vehicles and a new system of market surveillance of cars in the EU.
The negotiations have been extraordinarily tough. As a social democrat, I have had big fights with the car manufacturing industry, the governments protecting them, as well as the conservative side of the European Parliament.

However, I believe that this deal will put in place the controls, safeguards and transparency that the current system is so desperately lacking and thus help protect the environment, public health and consumers.

Moreover, this deal will restore faith in the car industry. Consumers can once again trust that what they get, is actually what they bought, which will in turn strengthen the car manufacturing industry. And those parts of the industry that did not cheat before can now again compete on a level playing field.

We have agreed that the Member States of the EU should check 1 in 40,000 new cars on the European roads every year. That is a huge step forward in comparison to today’s market surveillance. As for now, the Member States are effectively checking zero cars, but with the new concrete minimum target, the Member States will not be able to escape their obligations.

By strengthening the market surveillance, we make cheating much more difficult. Member States also have the opportunity to peer review other Member States, and the European Commission shall carry out its own independent assessments.

Furthermore, data from the before mentioned tests will be publicly available. This means independent third parties have the opportunity to verify the test results. Remember that it was such third party operator who caught Volkswagen cheating more than two years.

Market surveillance is the key to ensure the protection of consumers, public health and the environment. Hence, my satisfaction with the agreement on the new system for type approval. It was a long and tough struggle but we managed to make a deal, which is beneficial for the industry as well as the European citizens.

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