In emissions scandal, EU Commission holds out prospect of further proceedings against EU states. "I can’t give you a date, but I think the next infringement proceedings will come," EU Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said Thursday (8. February 2017) before the investigative committee on the emissions affair in the European Parliament. At present, however, its authorities are still collecting the necessary data.
The likely candidate for EU proceedings is Italy. Bienkowska has already threatened that she is likely to take action against the country if she does not have satisfactory answers from Rome by the end of February 2017. The Italian government has allegations that carmaker Fiat Chrysler cheated on exhaust emissions, only on Wednesday (7. February 2017) rejected. In December 2016, the EU Commission had launched proceedings against Germany and six other countries for alleged violation of European law. Bienkowska complained about the lack of will to clarify the matter in the auto industry and the national authorities. Their attitude has not changed despite the affair about falsified exhaust emissions values.
Consumers have nothing to fear in the short term, but very much in the medium term. In France and Germany, the diesel share is so high that before the election, hardly any politician will dare to change the current taxation or even announce it. But politicians, like the auto industry, are in a quandary. On the one hand, CO2 emissions are to be reduced and new environmental regulations are to be met; on the other hand, the electric car, hailed as a panacea, is not really gaining momentum. Presumably, in the fall of 2017, i.e. after the election, it will become somewhat clearer where the journey is headed. Clear guidelines were important not only for the industry, but also for the consumer. After all, after real estate, the car is the most expensive item that consumers afford on average.