Thursday, 6 April 2017

European Parliament vetoes diesel emissions supervisory agency

UK Tories and Kippers help swing the vote

There was a vote in the European Parliament recently which points the way in which the Conservatives want to go in future. They are resisting any pan-European agency, even if the target is better, consistent, testing of motors' exhaust emissions and hence better consumer protection. 

New European supervisory agency rejected, British MEPs made the difference
The MEPs rejected the setting up of a separate and independent European agency for vehicle surveillance that would have had the power to test vehicle emissions in laboratories and in real driving conditions. This independent body was aimed at addressing the problem raised by the inquiry committee concerning the maladministration by both member states and the European Commission. The vote on the establishment of this agency was very close: 333 voted in favour, 347 against, while 9 Members abstained.
The call for a new European agency would have been a strong signal from the European Parliament for “more EU” at a time when European unity is facing great challenges. Not surprisingly, British Prime Minister Theresa May’s political party voted against the agency, as well as the governing party in Poland Law and Justice (PiS), which have tended to reinforce its reclusive position in the EU over the past few weeks.
Many political groups have been divided when voting on the establishment of a new European agency. For instance, the Italian 5 Star Movement voted in favour and did not follow the majority of its Eurosceptic group, Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD). Similarly, the opinions in the centrist and far-left political groups have diverged substantially, with some Members voting on national lines in both groups (for example, French MEPs took position in favour of this new agency, while the Czech and Dutch Members opposed it).
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