Germany is convinced that the debate over the sale of new combustion-engined cars can be resolved before the start of the European summit, which will be held on Thursday and Friday. This became clear on Tuesday after the statements of European Affairs Minister Anna Lormann.
Normally, a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars would take effect from 2035, but Germany unexpectedly blocked official approval of the measure this month.
The ban was agreed last year during negotiations between the European Parliament and member states. That Parliament formally approved the political agreement in February, but things turned sour in the House.
German Transport Minister Volker Wessing stressed that for his country, cars with a combustion engine should be allowed after 2035, at least if they run on e-fuel – fuel made from carbon-free raw materials. Several countries sided with Germany, after which the President of the Council, Sweden, decided to postpone the vote on the agreement with the European Parliament.
Is overshadowed by the European summit?
This issue threatens to cast a shadow over the European summit at the end of this week, but according to Berlin, it will not move so quickly. Minister Luhrmann said before the start of the European Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels that the agreement will remain in place, but that the German government is in parallel talks with the European Commission on the implementation of the relevant legal instrument. “I assume that these talks will end before the start of the summit,” she said.
It is not unimportant that Lührmann is a member of the German Green Party, which accuses Wessing and his liberal FDP of eating food from the hands of the auto lobby. Therefore, the Green Party is particularly displeased with the behavior of their coalition partner. Most EU countries also hope to honor the agreement. “I think we have to stick to what was agreed,” French Foreign Minister Lawrence Bonne said again on Tuesday.
“Stop and Go” policy
Officially, this issue is not on the agenda of heads of state and government, but it may be discussed informally during the European Summit. A seasoned observer warned Tuesday morning of the consequences of a “stop-and-go policy” on the investment climate. The warning was of the fact that decisions being made again in question threatened to cause great confusion.
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