The socialist (S&D) group today added its support to a proposal made by the Greens/EFA group to set up a parliamentary inquiry committee to investigate the car pollution scandal. With a majority of groups now supporting an inquiry, a decision will be taken at an extraordinary conference of presidents of the political groups in the European Parliament next week. Commenting on the development, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms stating:
"There is a glaring need for a proper investigation into car pollution scandal. The revelations that Volkswagen and other manufacturers have used software devices to cheat pollutant tests so they can continue to market highly polluting cars are only the tip of the iceberg of a much wider problem of regulatory failure. With evidence continuing to emerge that the European Commission is also implicated in the scandal, it was essential that the European Parliament assume responsibility for this investigation of the problems and the consequences to be drawn. We welcome the support of other political groups and we now need to work to ensure this inquiry is finalised without delay, with a rigorous mandate.”
Greens/EFA vice-president and environment spokesperson Bas Eickhout added:
"In addition to car makers flouting of EU pollution rules, this inquiry must focus on the roles played by the responsible national authorities and the European Commission in allowing this regulatory breakdown to occur. We already knew that the Commission had sat on its hands in the face of evidence that many vehicles on the market exceeded EU pollution norms; however clarity is also needed on allegations the Commission ignored evidence of illegal manipulation. This must be fully investigated. Moving on, we have to ensure that EU rules on the environment and public health are enforced and respected."