MEPs voice support for eCall at European Parliament meeting
The European Parliament IMCO and TRAN committees held a joint meeting on 24 April 2012 to discuss the draft report “eCall: a new 112 service for citizens”. The European Commission received strong backing from co-rapporteurs Ms Olga Sehnalová (S&D) and Mr Dieter-Lebrecht Koch (EPP) in its endeavour to make eCall mandatory by 2015.
The own-initiative report “Calls on the Commission to ensure that the eCall system is based on an interoperable and open-access platform in order to encourage innovation and boost the competitiveness of the European information technology industry on the global markets” and “Stresses that any additional services to be used in a vehicle – especially when driving – will need to comply with clear safety, security and data protection privacy standards, and that compliance with such standards must be measured and controlled”.
Support of key MEPs
A number of key MEPs spoke out in favour of the report which is expected to be voted upon by the full Parliament on 3 July 2012.
- Ms Olga Sehnalová MEP (S&D) welcomed the introduction of an eCall system. She said the system should be available to all citizens in Europe.
- Mr Dieter-Lebrecht Koch MEP (EPP) agreed that a service should be provided throughout Europe to maximise the life-saving potential of eCall. He added that it is time for the European Commission to take action and move forward as the voluntary approach adopted so far has clearly failed.
- Ms Zita Gurmai MEP (S&D) reminded all that it was crucial to act fast as people’s lives are at stake. She called on vehicle manufacturers to make the system available in all new cars and not only as an option.
- Mr Malcolm Harbour (ECR) asked for a link to be made with universal services. He said that from his point of view, the same infrastructure that was put in place for 112 should be used for eCall.
- Mr Mathieu Grosch (EPP) gave his perspective from a border region and called for an efficient, EU-wide harmonised system.
European Commission Position
Mr Emilio Davila-Gonzalez from the European Commission answered a number of questions from MEPs. According to the detailed Impact Assessment of the European Commission, EU fatalities could be reduced by 5% with the mandatory introduction of eCall. He said that devices to be installed are estimated to cost 50 EUR and pre-deployment pilots were currently being carried out to ensure the timely upgrade of Public Safety Answering Points.
Ms Laurianne Krid, FIA Region I Policy Director welcomed the positive feedback from a majority of the speakers. Ms Krid said: “The committees have produced a balanced report, which acknowledges the life-saving potential of eCall, while addressing some key consumer protection and competition issues such as the openness of the telematics platform and data protection. We now need to assure that we make progress on these issues. Everyday lives are lost on European roads while we keep on waiting for eCall to be realised to the benefits of all European citizens.“
The FIA Press Release ahead on the report is available here.