What does the Euro 7 regulation approved by the EU Council provide?

Enthusiasm from Palazzo Chigi: “Accept our proposals”

Important news arrives from Brussels for motorists and companies in the automotive sector: the EU Competitiveness Council has approved the proposed Euro 7 Regulationthe new Regulation on vehicle emissions.

The measure is aimed at continuing the path undertaken by the Union in reducing emissions, but it is unlikely to make environmentalists happy.

With this new proposal, in fact, the adoption times of the new legislation are postponed by two and a half years and the hypothesis of new, more restrictive constraints in terms of emissions is eliminated, maintaining the values ​​established by the Euro 6 regulation for internal combustion engines, for particulate emissions and for the conditions for car emissions tests.

The proposal, suggested by the Spanish presidency, it was supported by Italy and by a large majority by the other EU countries, with a minority of countries abstaining consisting of Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Denmark and the Netherlands. All other member states voted in favor of the new Euro 7 Regulation proposal. The Council’s negotiating position will be voted on next Monday in Brussels by the EU ministers of competitiveness and industry.

What are the new features of the Euro 7 Regulation

For the first time, emissions from cars, vans and heavy vehicles such as coaches are regulated in a single legal act, but above all the proposal is not limited to regulating exhaust gas emissions.

The text, in fact, fixes additional limits also for particulate emissions produced by brakes and new parameters relating to emissions microplastics caused by tires. This last peculiarity means that the new rules will be also valid for electric cars.

The Spanish proposal, which weakens the emission limits indicated by the Commission, provides for constant monitoring of consumption, to be carried out through a device that allows the quality of emissions to be measured in real time of vehicles.

From a bureaucratic point of view, the text establishes clear deadlines for the adoption of implementing acts (by the European Commission) to provide economic operators with clarity and legal certainty.

For many institutional and corporate representatives, the agreement found today, after a long and detailed discussion, represents an excellent one compromise between the Commission’s proposed regulation and a softer transformationwhich does not bring the automotive supply chain to its knees.

“We need to be able to strengthen regulation on tires and brakes [anche] for electric vehicles”, commented the French Minister delegate for Industry, Roland Lescure, indicating the need for avoid further “heat engine regulation” on which EU countries have already agreed to stop starting from 2035.

The President of the Council Héctor Gómez Hernández himself presented the general orientation of the institution on the topic as follows: “The Spanish Presidency has been sensitive to the various requests of the Member States and with this proposal we believe we have achieved broad support, a balance in costs of investment by manufacturers and an improvement in the environmental benefits deriving from the regulation”.

Italy’s enthusiasm for the Euro 7 Regulation

The proposal for the Euro 7 Regulation approved today by the EU Competitiveness Council was welcomed with enthusiasm by the Italian government: “The responsibility front on the Euro 7 regulation has succeeded in what many thought impossible: a real reversal of the forces in the field, which changes the majority in the EU. The text approved today, profoundly improved compared to the Commission’s initial proposal, responds to a finally concrete, realistic and pragmatic vision repeatedly requested by Italy. Reason finally prevails over ideology”, declared the satisfied Minister of Business and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, on the sidelines of the Brussels session.

The new text, continued Urso, “substantially reflects the requests of the ‘responsibility front’ coordinated by the Czech Republic, together with Italy and France, which on the merits achieved a large and unprecedented majority in the Council, changing for the first time the structures on the ecological transition”.

Italy’s position starts from the consideration that the ban on internal combustion engines from 2035 already represents an important challenge for the automotive sector. Further restrictive regulatory interventions on emissions, Palazzo Chigi claims, would have definitively knocked out a sector that has been in crisis for several months.

For this reason, Italy has always shown its hostility to the first regulation proposal put forward in November 2022 by the EU Commission, which presented stringent limits in terms of emissions.

As the owner of the companies explains, the agreement reached today in Brussels allows for “significantly reduce costs for automotive companies which will have to divert fewer investments to adapt to new technologies, with consequent lower costs also for consumers”. In this way, adds Urso, it will be possible to “address immediately more resources for investments in the transition to electric”.

The representatives of the executive welcome the text approved today as a victory for the Meloni government: “Accept our proposals which reconcile environmental protection and safeguarding European production without gifts to leading electric countries such as China”, summarized the Ministry of Transport led by Matteo Salvini in a note, echoing Minister Urso who speaks of a “finally concrete” vision , realistic, pragmatic, repeatedly requested by Italy”.

The path now appears to be clear and the institutions know that further negotiations on the values ​​of emissions cannot be made. The ultimate goal remains to protect the environment and the health of citizens, especially in the most polluted areas of Europe, with Northern Italy holding an unenviable record.