The European Parliament's Conference of Presidents of political groups today agreed to the setting up of a parliamentary inquiry committee to investigate the car pollution scandal. The European Parliament will now vote as whole on the draft mandate for the committee in its plenary session tomorrow. The Greens/EFA group, which has been pushing for the creation of an inquiry committee since the Volkswagen scandal broke, welcomed the decision, with Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms stating:
"Today's decision to set up a European Parliament inquiry into the car pollution scandal is an important step in ensuring the implications of the scandal are properly dealt with at EU level. Almost three months on from the initial revelations that Volkswagen and other manufacturers have used software devices to cheat pollutant tests, and with various other revelations having continued to emerge, a coherent EU response has remained elusive. With evidence that the European Commission is also implicated in the scandal, it was essential that the EP assume responsibility for investigating the revelations and the consequences to be drawn. We will work to ensure this inquiry committee carries out a rigorous investigation and makes robust recommendations for EU follow-up.”
Greens/EFA vice-president and environment spokesperson Bas Eickhout added:
"This inquiry must focus on the roles played by the responsible national authorities and the European Commission in allowing this regulatory breakdown to occur. The European Commission has serious questions to answer over revelations that it failed to act on evidence it received that car manufacturers were using manipulation to avoid complying with EU car pollution rules. It must also explain why it sat on its hands in the face of evidence that many vehicles on the market exceeded EU pollution norms. We will be looking to ensure that we can host hearings with key representatives from the car industry, national authorities and the European Commission and insist that all parties cooperate fully with the inquiry and make all documents available to the European Parliament."
The mandate of the committee can be found at: www.greens-efa.eu/fileadmin/dam/Documents/VW_inquiry_committee/Inquiry_committee_VW_mandate.pdf