Germany vetoes End-of-Life Vehicles Directive

The German Government has again blocked any progress on the Directive on End-of-Life vehicles, having promised to approve the proposals without amendment this week.

Germany caused angry reactions from the Commission and other national delegations, by again blocking.progress on the Directive on the take-back of End-of-Life Vehicles.

Having agreed to the Directive in principle in December 1998, Germany then persuaded other countries to postpone the vote in March, on the basis that it would approve the proposals without amendment at this week’s Environment Council in Luxembourg, a Council spokesperson told edie.

However, the German delegation opened the discussion by declaring that it could not vote in favour of the proposals. Since the proposal required unanimity, other countries were forced to agree to postpone the vote until the next Council meeting in October – otherwise the entire Directive would have been scrapped and the process begun again from scratch.

The sticking point was the obligation for original manufacturers to fund the free take-back and recycling of end-of-life vehicles from their original owners – this was unacceptable to the German car industry. The UK and Spain supported the German call to postpone the vote.

Under the present proposals all vehicles would be eligible for free take-back from 1 January 2003. The chances of a compromise by October are resting on new proposals to vary the deadline, and differentiate between cars of different ages – possibly by bringing forward the deadline for new vehicles and putting it back for older ones.

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