Verheugen ‘protected’ Porsche
Letters published by the Commission show that the former EU enterprise commissioner Günter Verheugen intervened to help the German sports car maker Porsche during discussions on an EU carbon dioxide limit for new cars.
[mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]The letters reveal that in 2007, Verheugen tried to protect Porsche from being disadvantaged by the introduction of a uniform grams-per-kilometre limit for new cars, and that Porsche thanked him for helping to get the company favourable media coverage in Germany. The documentation has been released following a four-year campaign by Friends of the Earth and the environmental lawyers Climate Earth. Under EU rules relating to access to documents, the letters between Porsche and the Commission should have been released, but the Commission has only done so after four threats of legal action, the first three of which the Commission ignored. The letters raise two questions about the enforcement of EU law: how can the Commission hold out for so long without releasing papers that should be in the public domain; and did Verheugen break rules which prevent a commissioner acting for his/her own country as opposed to the whole EU?