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MAJOR MILESTONES: EU REACHES AGREEMENT ON KEY LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVES FOR CLEANER TRANSPORTATION



 

Introduction


On December 18, 2023, the European Council and Parliament reached a significant agreement on the final text of 2 crucial legislative dossiers: the Regulation on the Type Approval of Motor Vehicles and Engines, known as Euro 7, and the Regulation on Union Guidelines for the Development of the Trans-European Transport Network (RTE-T).


Euro 7 Regulation:


The EU Commission proposed the Euro 7 Regulation in November 2022, aiming to establish more stringent standards for vehicle emissions in the European Union. This initiative, part of the European Green Deal, encompasses cars, vans, and trucks in a unified text for the first time. The regulation also introduces new rules regarding brake and tire emissions.


In the European Parliament, the Committee on Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety (ENVI) and the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) played crucial roles in shaping the legislation. The Spanish Minister of Industry and Tourism, Jordi Hereu, emphasized that Euro 7 aims to propel the industry towards nearly zero emissions by 2035, benefiting both air quality and CO2 reduction.


Key Provisions of the Agreement:

 

The provisional agreement maintains current testing conditions and emission limits for Euro 6 for cars and vans. However, it introduces a shift in measuring exhaust particle levels, now measured at PN10 instead of PN23, including smaller particles.

 

For buses and trucks, the agreement establishes stricter limits for various pollutants, including nitrous oxide (N2O), not regulated under Euro 6. Additionally, it imposes more stringent lifespan requirements, with a mileage or lifespan of 200,000 kilometers or 10 years for cars and vans.


The introduction of a Vehicle Environmental Passport is another noteworthy feature, providing information on a vehicle's environmental performance at registration. Users will have access to real-time data on fuel consumption, battery status, and pollutant emissions.

 

Changes in the effective dates of the regulation include 30 months for new car and van types, 42 months for new vehicles, 48 months for new bus, truck, and trailer types, and 60 months for new vehicles. The final text will undergo legal review, translation, and adoption by the Council and Parliament before publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

 

RTE-T Regulation:


Proposed by the European Commission in December 2021 and revised in July 2022, the RTE-T Regulation aligns guidelines with the European Green Deal and the EU Climate Law. The aim is to create a sustainable transport network by 2050, emphasizing high infrastructure standards and innovative technologies.

 

n the European Parliament, the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) played a key role in approving the report in April 2023. The Spanish Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility, Óscar Puente, hails the agreement as a "milestone for better and sustainable connectivity in Europe."


Agreement Highlights


The Euro 7 agreement aligns with the European Commission's three-tiered approach, setting deadlines until 2030 for the core network, 2040 for the expanded network, and 2050 for the global network. Notable projects include new high-speed rail connections and the creation of nine European Transport Corridors.

 

The agreement emphasizes intermodal transport, especially rail, inland waterways, and short-sea shipping. Electrification of mainline railways for freight at 100 km/h and passenger trains at 160 km/h is a focus. The creation of nine "European Transport Corridors" aims to support sustainable and multimodal transportation flows.

 

The agreements on Euro 7 and RTE-T represent major steps towards a cleaner, more sustainable transportation future in the European Union. As both texts undergo legal review, translation, and adoption, they mark significant achievements in addressing environmental concerns and fostering a resilient and sustainable transport network for the EU. The forthcoming "Connecting Europe Days" in April 2024 in Brussels will highlight the launch of the new RTE-T and its nine European Transport Corridors, reinforcing the EU's commitment to mobility that aligns with the needs of its citizens and businesses.

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