Documents considered by the Committee on 3 April 2019 Contents

3Second mobility package: Clean Vehicles Directive

Committee’s assessment

Politically important

Committee’s decision

Not cleared from scrutiny; further information requested; but scrutiny waiver granted for adoption

Document details

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2009/33/EU on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles

Legal base

Article 192 TFEU; ordinary legislative procedure; QMV

Department

Transport

Document Number

(39209), 14183/17 + ADDs 1–6, COM(17) 653

Summary and Committee’s conclusions

3.1The proposal under scrutiny concerns the amendment of Directive 2009/33/EC—on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles—and would widen its scope to include a revised definition of what constitutes a ‘clean’ light-duty vehicle (LDVs).35 The Directive would also set a minimum public procurement target for clean LDVs and delegate power to the Commission to set a similar target for heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) once relevant CO2 emission standards have been set at EU-level.

3.2A full background to the proposal, including information on the Commission’s ex-post evaluation of Directive 2009/33/EC, its rational for further regulatory action, and the Government’s initial legal and political assessment of the changes suggested by the Commission, can be found in our Twenty-first Report to the House of session 2017–19.

3.3When the Committee last considered the proposal (on 21 November 2018), we granted a scrutiny waiver in order for the Government to support a General Approach to be sought by the Austrian Presidency in the Transport Council of 3 December 2018. The Minister with charge over the proposal (Jesse Norman MP), has since written to the Committee—on 14 January 2019—providing an update on the outcome of the December Transport Council.36 He now writes—27 March 2019—requesting clearance of the proposal from scrutiny ahead of adoption.37

Minister’s letter of 14 January 2019

3.4In his letter of 14 January 2019, the Minister of State at the Department for Transport (Jesse Norman MP), informed the Committee that the Austrian Presidency did not put the proposal forward for a General Approach choosing, instead, to issue a progress report. The Minister explained that the proposal would be taken forward by the Romanian Presidency (which had scheduled two Working Group meetings in January 2019 with a view to seeking a mandate from COREPER on 23 January to open Trilogue negotiations with the European Parliament).

3.5The Minister alerted the Committee to the issues that would likely require further discussion—and resolution—at Working Group meetings. These include those parts of the proposal relating to:

3.6With regard to the questions asked—and the requests for further information made—by the Committee in its second consideration of the proposal (on 21 November 2018), the Minister did not provide direct answers or complete responses. The only response worthy of note was the Minister’s suggestion that the Government would be “well placed to meet the Directive’s requirements” should it stipulate a 10% public procurement target for HDVs.

Minister’s letter of 27 March 2019

3.7The Minister now writes—27 March 2019—requesting clearance of the proposal from scrutiny ahead of adoption which is scheduled for the middle of April. The Minister helpfully provides an update on the provisional agreement reached on the proposal between the Romanian Presidency and the European Parliament. The Minister’s update maps neatly onto the key areas he highlighted in his letter of 14 January:

3.8The Minister is broadly supportive of the final text of the proposal and states that he “welcomes the progress that has been made [during negotiations on the Directive ]” and that he is “satisfied that the provisional agreement goes a long way to meeting the Government’s objectives for the Directive”. With regard to the final procurement targets suggested, the Minister explains that those included would support the UK’s climate change and ‘Road to Zero’ commitments.38

3.9We thank the Minister for his letter and for updating the Committee on the progress of negotiations on the proposal. On the basis that the Government is supportive of the Directive and believes that its provisions reflect its own domestic commitments in this area, we grant a scrutiny waiver in order for it to support adoption at Council sometime later this month.

3.10We request further information on the Government’s plans for the transposition of the Directive and note, in particular, that the deadline of April/May 2021—provided by the Minister—would fall outside of the implementation period set under the draft Withdrawal Agreement. In light of the Government’s clear support for the Directive and the ambition that it has shown—and has been keen to report to the Committee—during negotiations, would the Government consider aligning UK law with the Directive in any event? .

3.11We request a short report on the outcome of the Council at which the proposal is put for adoption along with a response to the question asked above by the end of April 2019. We retain the proposal under scrutiny.

Full details of the documents

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2009/33/EU on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles: (39209), 14183/17 + ADDs 1–6, COM(17) 653.

Previous Committee Reports

Twenty-first Report HC 301–xx (2017–19), chapter 7 (21 March 2018); and Forty-fifth Report HC 301–xliv (2017–19), chapter 5 (21 November 2018)


35 Directive 2009/33/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles (Text with EEA relevance).




Published: 9 April 2019