EU Transport Council backs RDE tests



On June 6&7, the Council of the European Union’s Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council met in Luxembourg. Ministers held a policy debate on nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel cars. Ministers considered that efforts should be made to clarify the application of existing legislation on defeat devices in order to reduce NOx emissions from vehicles. In parallel, relevant type approval rules are currently being revised and are close to the introduction of mandatory ‘real driving emissions’ tests.


In the debate, most member states expressed their full support for the rapid implementation of real driving emissions (RDE) tests that will bring more transparency and clarity into the type approval testing procedures. Together with improved laboratory tests, the RDE testing should diminish the gap between the levels of pollution emitted in a laboratory and those pumped out on the road.


This item was discussed jointly with an ‘Any other business’ item requested by the German delegation on the implications of the emissions irregularities. In its information note, Germany provided information on the investigation carried out by its authorities into the use of defeat devices and suggested a number of measures. In particular, the delegation invited the Commission to review and clarify existing legislation on the use of defeat devices.


A large number of ministers agreed that that the existing rules on the use of defeat devices should be clarified. The circumstances in which manufacturers are allowed to use such devices should be defined in a precise manner to avoid any abuses.


Commissioner Bieńkowska considered that better enforcement and stronger regulatory oversight by the national authorities would be more efficient than revising the legislation. She called on the member states to quickly conclude the negotiations on the type approval review, while keeping the level of ambition set out in the Commission proposal.


Regarding the question of the use of state of the art technology to reduce NOx emissions by diesel cars, many member states indicated their preference for a performance-based and technologically neutral approach. The presidency will report on the outcome of the discussion to the Environment Council on 20 June.


In addition, ministers discussed the contribution of the EU to the ongoing talks in ICAO on a global market-based measure to cut CO2 emissions from international aviation, in preparation of the next ICAO Assembly. The Council also took note of progress made on a proposal to revise the current regulatory framework on aviation safety, which includes the first-ever EU-wide rules on the use of drones and important new provisions on safety-related security matters.


Items debated:

  • Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel cars
  • Professional qualifications in inland navigation
  • Air transport agreements – mandates
  • Civil aviation safety – revision of rules
  • Preparation of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Assembly

Other business:

  • Implications of the emissions irregularities
  • Galileo and EGNOS
  • Passenger ship safety package
  • Road safety
  • Report on the informal Transport and Environment Council
  • Impact on the EU transport sector of national laws adopted in certain member states
  • European aviation summit
  • European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) task force on conflict zones
  • Aviation security – latest developments
  • Incoming presidency’s work programme in the field of transport


To read the Outcome of the Council meeting, please click here.


For more information, please click here.


Source: Council of the European Union



    In: CLEPA News, Connectivity & Automation, Environment & Energy, Growth & Competitiveness
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