Economy, Auto

Germany, Italy Oppose Stricter european union Approval Rules

Germany, Italy Oppose Stricter  european union Approval RulesGermany, Italy Oppose Stricter  european union Approval Rules

Germany and Italy are opposing a move to give the EU more supervision over the way national car regulators approve new cars for sale in the bloc, according to EU documents and sources.

After the Volkswagen diesel scandal, the EU wants the power to audit national car approval authorities and fine automakers directly, Automotive News reported.

EU sources say the bloc’s three legislators - the European Parliament, EU member governments and the European Commission - are close to reaching a compromise on the draft law, but remain divided over how much market surveillance power to give Brussels.

“We need more quality and independence in the system, more checks of cars already in circulation, and European oversight,” the EU’s Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska told Reuters. “I’m optimistic that an agreement is now finally within reach.”

EU documents seen by Reuters show EU lawmakers want the commission to be able to carry out regular audits of national car approval authorities. Some member states, including France, support two days of verification every five years.

Germany, however, opposes inspections by the commission, arguing “any kind of audit means extra bureaucracy without being beneficial,” in a position paper dated Nov. 30, seen by Reuters. Italy and seven other nations are asking for conditions that would weaken the commission’s oversight power, the sources said.

“It boils down to: do we want the commission to put its nose in the affairs of the national type-approval authorities?” one diplomat said. “After Dieselgate, it’s hard to say no.”

Another point of contention is the number of on-road emissions tests a country is obliged to carry out - after such checks in the US helped uncover the VW scandal in 2015.

A draft compromise text seen by Reuters proposes that member states carry out checks on at least one in every 40,000 new vehicles registered there, and 20% of those checks must include emissions tests.

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