EPP GROUP BACKS COMMISSION’S PROPOSAL TO CUT CO2 EMISSIONS FOR TRUCKS, BUT URGES THAT WE REMAIN REALISTIC
The EPP Group in the European Parliament welcomes today's legislative proposal to cut CO2 emissions for trucks by 2030.
"This is the first time the European Union has tried to cap CO2 emissions for trucks. We need to make sure that the framework of the legislation is well-structured and keeps the balance between competitiveness and our ambitious climate policies", said Christofer Fjellner MEP, EPP Group Spokesman in the Environment Committee.
Data shows that in 2015, transport contributed just over a quarter of all EU greenhouse gas emissions, with heavy vehicles like trucks and buses accounting for a 5 percent overall share. "We should set ambitious goals, but it is also important that we are realistic. If not, our ambitions will end up being mere figures", stressed Fjellner.
The Commission’s proposal focuses on tailpipe emission figures, represented in CO2, emitted as a result of the combustion of fuels such as natural gas, petrol, biodiesel blends, diesel, fuel oil or coal. "To succeed in the decarbonisation of transport, however, we need an integrated approach. We need to look at the entire life-cycle of the trucks and use a well-to-wheel perspective", he continued.
"The baseline of the legislation has to be robust, the classification of vehicles will be crucial and we need to build in some flexibility, as the lorry industry has very long production cycles", concluded Fjellner.
"I find it unacceptable that Slovak police require, under threat of a financial penalty, access to passwords revealing private and business conversations and mobile phone data that are not related to the subject matter of the police interrogation. The principle of protection of her sources and confidentiality is a key prerequisite for the free exercise of Pavla Holcová's profession as a journalist," said Manfred Weber.
"The outrageous procedure of the Slovak police is proof that the protection of journalists in the European Union deserves our utmost attention: we thought that after the murder of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová the Slovak authorities would do the maximum to let journalists carry out their daily work and would see them as partners in the common goal of combatting corruption and crime. Unfortunately, today we see that, despite assurances from the Slovak government, the contrary happens," highlighted Manfred Weber.
MEP and Head of the Slovak delegation to the EPP Group, Ivan Štefanec, considers this case a scandal and points to the fact that the Slovak police are still dominated by the same people who refused to protect the murdered journalist Ján Kuciak: "Requiring, under threat, passwords to a mobile phone from law-abiding citizens is simply illegal. In the case of journalists, that's even more dangerous, especially when it comes to a person who is a member of the international journalists team that continues to carry out the unfinished work of Ján Kuciak. Facts speak for themselves - the Slovak government does not really want to restore citizens' trust in the state and justice, it does the quite opposite," concluded Ivan Štefanec.
EPP GROUP BACKS NEW AND IMPROVED EUROPEAN CIVIL PROTECTION MECHANISM TO HELP MEMBER STATES DEAL WITH NATURAL DISASTERS
The European Parliament’s Environment Committee has voted in favour of the improved EU Civil Protection Mechanism, already established in 2013.
"The current system showed its limits and for this reason we need to strengthen it. Natural disasters are intensifying and climate change requires a collective response. When will the Union act, if not now?", commented Elisabetta Gardini MEP, Parliament’s negotiator on the dossier.
The renewed Civil Protection Mechanism is intended to help Member States cope with natural and man-made disasters in a more efficient way. It will provide for its own operational capacities at EU level, such as aerial forest firefighting, high capacity pumping, field hospital and emergency medical teams and other tools in order to help with a wide scope of disasters ranging from health emergencies, floods, fires, as well as terrorist attacks and chemical and nuclear threats.
Gardini continued: "Importantly, the European Civil Protection Mechanism will not replace the volunteer services at national and regional level, but rather strengthen and complement their work, as a safety net, because no Member State should be left alone to cope with natural catastrophes. The operational command and control remain entirely in the hands of Member States."
"It is high time for the European Union to demonstrate its solidarity in concrete terms. Furthermore, we have to listen to the 90% of citizens demanding more civil protection. Through the new mechanism, we are responding to our citizens' demands for more solidarity with maximum efficiency and minimum bureaucracy - not in theory, but in practice", she concluded.