Association, Inc.

Issue No. 3, 2008

JAMA comments on the CARS 21 Mid-Term Review

The European Commission launched its mid-term review of the CARS 21 initiative this past July, with a broad stakeholder consultation.  The consultation process involves:

Stakeholders were invited to submit their comments by 9 September 2008.  In its own response to the consultation, JAMA expressed once again its support for all aspects of the CARS 21 initiative.  Specifically, JAMA endorsed the simplification and internationalisation of the regulatory environment (Better Regulation), as well as the development of a comprehensive approach to environmental and safety measures (Integrated Approach).

The implementation of early stakeholder consultations, the introduction of impact assessments, the global harmonisation of technical standards, the introduction of adequate lead times and regulatory predictability are all critical matters for the automotive sector.  With respect to Better Regulation, JAMA specifically stated that it looked forward to the introduction of greater transparency and accountability concerning the EU's comitology process.

The Integrated Approach requires the active participation of industry, government and vehicle users in achieving significant CO2 reductions in road transport.  It has been in application in Japan's road transport sector for some time and has produced significant results.  Moreover, there is a growing body of opinion both within and outside Japan calling for this approach to be applied to the auto sector worldwide.  JAMA urged the EU to join international discussions on the 'sectoral approach' before formulating a long-term European scenario in this area.

With respect to EU automotive policies, an increasing number of issues are being debated separately within the European Commission.  As a result, individual issues are addressed largely in terms of technology, while insufficient attention is paid to their impact on the competitiveness of the automobile industry as a whole.  JAMA believes, therefore, that it is crucial to return to the CARS 21 recommendations and ensure that any new initiatives will comply fully with the concepts of Better Regulation and the Integrated Approach.

Written contributions to the consultation by JAMA and other actors will play an important role in the Commission’s mid-term review.  Indeed, the comments submitted by stakeholders were to be carefully considered during the drafting of the 'Conclusions' documentation for the High Level Conference scheduled for October 2008.  This conference will see members of the original CARS 21 High Level Group reconvene for the first time since 2005.