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Debating mobility: How will the TTIP affect the transport sector?


Publication date: 10 December 2014


On 9 December, the Forum for the Automobile and Society held a ‘debating mobility’ breakfast in the European Parliament. MEP and Chairman of the International Trade Committee, Bernd Lange, hosted the meeting in front of an audience that included MEPs, industry and staff of the European Parliament. The event consisted of a discussion among experts on the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with a focus on the transport sector.

 

In his introduction, MEP Lange underlined the importance and implications of the current TTIP negotiations especially concerning the endeavors for transatlantic regulatory convergence in the transport sector. He also insisted that social aspects, such as the equivalence of the working conditions, should be considered.

 

Elena Bryan, Trade Representative at the United States Mission to the European Union gave an overview of the negotiations, which are expected to last an additional 18 months. She highlighted the evidence-based approach of the American regulators and the need for common objectives on both sides of the Atlantic to avoid divergence in future regulatory work.

 

Philippe Jean, Head of Unit, Sustainable Mobility and Automotive Industry at the European Commission explained the latest developments regarding the transatlantic negotiations, the tariffs and tariff equivalents at stake and how it could impact the automotive industry in the EU. He underlined the different regulatory approaches of each side: the EU based on type approval and the US on self-certification. Now, they are looking for equivalence on existing standards and preparing new standards on a common approach. He insisted on the importance of working together on research and vehicle crash data.

 

The final speaker, Jos Dings, Director of Transport & Environment underlined the profound differences in regulation and expressed fear that regulatory convergence will water down the current high standards. Jos Dings also regretted the lack of transparency of the negotiation process and welcomed a more public debate.

 

The debate that followed examined the current lack of good data on real vehicle emissions and in-depth vehicle crash data.

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