EP Plenary topical debate on Dieselgate, 13 September 2017

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Concluding remarks

Mr President, Honourable Members, I would like to thank you for this important exchange of views today.

This scandal has to end.

The industry harmed, knowingly, both the health of our citizens and our environment. It deceived Europe's consumers.

And then, afterwards, it compensated EU consumers less favourably than consumers in other jurisdictions. Forgetting that compensation should be for consumers, not CEOs.

It sometimes seems to me that we have to save this industry from itself.

This is all about the credibility and the reputation of industry.

I fear that some still don't seem to get it.

For more than two years, we – this Parliament and this Commission – have been working very hard to put an end to this scandal, and to enforce the rules.

But we are still seeing new allegations every week.

And Member States are only sharing information upon request.

Indeed, some Member States even claim that they somehow "cannot" enforce the law, on the grounds that it's not clear enough.

It is crystal clear that even our existing rules have been broken.

On top of that, we proposed already, one and a half years ago, the new type-approval framework, that should help prevent future problems.

I am disappointed that we only this month finally managed to open Trilogues; that is way too slow.

Now that the Trilogues have started, let's agree a high quality new European framework by the end of this year.

I fully understand why many of you asked for an EU agency. And when we presented our proposal, we did not yet know the magnitude of the emissions scandal.

One thing is clear: we need effective market surveillance and oversight by the Commission. And as soon as possible.

We are open to discuss with you the best way in which this could be done. 

So let me stress what needs to done now:

I am determined to pursue the infringement procedures, so as to ensure proper enforcement of the current Type-approval legislation.

We have to quickly finalise our work on an effective Type Approval system, to restore confidence in the industry. And to restore confidence in the national authorities whose job it is to control the industry.


I will also reduce the conformity factor of the second RDE package. By the spring, I will let you know by how much.

Many politicians claim to be shocked and disappointed with the industry, but these are empty phrases if words are not followed by action.

Member States themselves can bring down emissions of the existing diesel fleet.

They can properly enforce the existing law.

I expect more than window dressing measures by industry. The measures taken have to actually bring down emissions: on the road, not only in the laboratories. To do so, we have to consider software and hardware measures.

And I don't want the most polluting cars to end up in Central Europe. Member States can prevent this. Do not allow to register non-retrofitted cars on your territories.

Finally, let me close with my most important message today.

We must work together on the future of the automotive sector. I want to quickly pave the way for zero emission cars.

For the sake of our citizens' health. For Europe's environment. And for the competiveness of our economy.

In November, we will present the next mobility package. This will aim to prepare the industry for this future.

All of this future work must involve close and fruitful engagement with industry, in a positive partnership for change.

Mr President, Honourable Members, I urge you to work with the Commission to get these changes right.

Thank you.

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