Dublin MEP, Nessa Childers, hailed yesterday’s vote in the European Parliament to formally establish a committee of enquiry into maladministration and breaches of EU law on foot of the scandal involving the installation of software to cheat on pollutant emissions tests.
Speaking after the committee was officially set up, Ms. Childers said:
“The Dieselgate scandal has seriously undermined trust in our regulatory processes.
“We must regain it, and start by recognising there has been wilful neglect in the face of one of the most powerful lobbies in Europe.
“The last iteration of EU law governing these matters has been in place since 2007, and we are still muddling through with a proposal – made last year only – to introduce a “Real Emissions Driving” test that accurately represents what in effect happens on the road.
“Already after the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal, the Dutch government was the sole one whose experts contested the inadequacy of testing arrangements which would allow manufacturers to emit twice as much as EU law allows.
“I don’t know if this says more about the power of the car manufacturing lobby or the lack of seriousness with which environmental and safety regulation is implemented.
“There’s serious moral hazard to the integrity of the process by which national approval authorities clear new models for the market when they are get their money from the manufacturers themselves, who are also allowed to choose and provide the vehicles used specifically for the purpose of testing.
“There’s serious systemic failure at stake, and I hope the inquiry committee will shed proper light on all its dimensions and issue robust recommendations.
“Hundreds of thousands of lives are lost prematurely to air pollution in Europe. There is a lot that we can improve on this front if we muster the political will.”