Today Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament voted on a new regulation regarding the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) testing of cars on the EU market. No qualified majority in the European Parliament was reached in order to reject the European Commission's proposal.
S&D Group vice-president for sustainability, Kathleen Van Brempt, said:
"The Commission and the Council are trying to raise the legal emissions limits through the back door. There is already a law, approved by this Parliament and the member states in 2007, setting the limits. So this cannot be changed by a technical committee without the Parliament.
"On top of being undemocratic, such a measure would also be disrespectful to citizens who expect EU legislators to protect public health. If some companies or vested interests are going around the law, it is our duty and the duty of the Commission to ensure compliance, instead of changing the law to the benefit of those not respecting it.
"The tight outcome of the vote - 317 against 323 - shows there is a large part of the European Parliament that wants to stick to its guns. This makes it clear that in the further development of test procedures, Commission and Council will be closely watched and cannot get away with everything.
"While we welcome the commitments from the Commission, we regret that Council didn't come up with a similar statement. So whether or not the revision clause will be used to close the loopholes still depends on the will of the member states."