Press Release

Commission’s New Car Industry Group “Lacks Expertise” Say Transport NGOs

January 13, 2005

At a press conference held today, Günter Verheugen, Vice-President of the Commission, and Bernd Pischetsrieder, President of ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers Association), launched a new initiative to boost the competitiveness of the European car industry. A high level group called “CARS 21” will be set up.

[mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]European environmental and safety campaigners including T&E and ETSC welcomed Vice President Verheugen’s comments that the “way forward” is “lean, clean and safe” but criticised the membership of the group, which they say is severely unbalanced and lacks the necessary expertise to deliver this mandate.

“We’re concerned that safety and the environment will not be at the top of this group’s priority list unless groups such as ours who represent experts as well as all road users are present” said ETSC director Jörg Beckmann. Jos Dings, T&E director commented, “We are also surprised to see that neither the transport or environment committees of the Parliament (responsible for safety and emissions legislation respectively) are represented o­n the group. If the Commission is serious about ‘clean’ and ‘safe’ then we look forward to being invited to participate when CARS-21 meet for the first time in March.

More information
Karsten Krause, European Federation for Transport and Environment (T&E)
Tel: +32 2 502 9909

Frazer Goodwin, European Transport Safety Council (ETSC)
Tel: +32 2 230 4106