In January 2016, the European Parliament appointed 45 members of a Committee of inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector (EMIS) – the first in its kind in 10 years and only the fourth ever.

The Committee will investigate:

  • the Commission’s alleged failure to keep test cycles under review,
  • the alleged failure of the Commission and member states’ authorities to take proper and effective action to enforce and oversee enforcement of the explicit ban on “defeat devices”,
  • the Commission’s alleged failure to introduce tests reflecting the real-world driving conditions,
  • the member states’ alleged failure to lay down provisions on effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties applicable to manufacturers for infringements, and
  • whether the Commission and the member states had evidence of the use of “defeat mechanisms” before the scandal emerged on 18 September 2015.

It aims to produce an interim report within 6 months and a final one within 12 months after starting its work.

On 2 March 2016, its members elected Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D, Belgium) as its chair together with the following vice-chairs:

  • Ivo Belet (EPP, Belgium);
  • Mark Demesmaeker (ECR, Belgium);
  • Kateřina Konečná (GUE/NGL, Czech Republic);
  • Karima Delli (Greens/EFA, France).

In its brief opening statement, the chair said the following: “We should ensure that the environmental legislation in place is robust, ambitious and bulletproof; and secondly, that this legislation is properly implemented and enforced.” Previously, Gianni Pittella – president of the Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament – had emphasized that “[t]he aim of this committee is not to blame and shame car manufacturers or other stake holders but to inform the debate on how to improve the current EU legislation. It is for the good of consumers, but also for the whole automotive sector.

The next meeting of the EMIS Committee is scheduled on 22 March.