Justyna Bazylińska-Nagler


The road transport sector remains a major contributor to smog that is of particular concern in big European cities. The EU member states are to manage air quality in line with in the Air Quality Directive (dir. 2008/50/EC) that put forward local air quality targets. For this purpose, there are specific legal instruments to be applied by local authorities i.e. low emission zones, pedestrian zones, ‘car-free days’, etc. In joined cases: T-339/16, T 352/16, T-391/16 Paris, Bruxelles and Madrid successfully questioned the EU harmonising legislation (reg. 2016/646/EU) on pollutant emissions from light passenger and commercial vehicles.2 This regulation was intended to facilitate the sale of motor vehicles in the EU market, however it was incompliant with Euro 6 standard (reg. 715/2007/EC). This work revolves around the implicit conflict between regulatory autonomy of the European cities to enact domestic legislation in order to comply with their obligations under Air Quality Directive and on the other side - Framework Directive for the Approval of Motor Vehicles (dir. 2007/46/EC) and its secondary ‘regulatory acts’ that all together constitute the automotive market surveillance system of the European Commission. The article concludes that, cities may become champions for environmental protection, (since they already have standing under Article 263 (4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU), if the Commission fails to impose stringent automobile emission standards


: Air Quality Directive, automotive sector emissions, Framework Directive for the Approval of Motor Vehicles, low emissions zone, regulatory powers of the cities JEL Classification: K23, K32, K33

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