Smoke from car exhausts – illustrative photo.
Bratislava – The Slovak Parliament has ordered the government that, within the framework of the European Union, ministers vote against initiatives aimed at disadvantaging, increasing the price of, or banning internal combustion engines, unless it is clear that such measures are beneficial especially a healthy environment. The House approved the draft resolution with the votes of 127 of the 145 deputies present.
The proposal was not supported by the MPs around ex-prime minister Eduard Heger. One of them, former Minister of the Environment Ján Budaj, claims that the resolution is in favor of Russian interests in Central Europe and that Slovakia needs to get rid of its energy dependence on Russia as quickly as possible.
The chairman of the liberal Svoboda a Solidarita party and former Minister of the Economy, Richard Sulík, in turn stated that electric vehicles are not more environmentally friendly when their entire life cycle is taken into account.
The resolution of the Slovak Parliament will probably also apply to Bratislava's position on the introduction of the Euro 7 emission standard for motor vehicles, which, according to experts, will mean the end of the production of affordable small cars. Italian Transport Minister Matteo Salvini said on Tuesday that Italy and its allies in the EU, including the Czech Republic and Slovakia, have enough power to block the norm. gasoline and diesel in 2035. Before this vote, the European Committee of the Slovak Parliament obliged the Minister of the Environment to join the EU countries that oppose the ban on the sale of new passenger cars with internal combustion engines after 2035 and the tightening of emission standards for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.
However, according to the deputies, the Slovak Ministry of the Environment sent a proposal to the European Committee to change Slovakia's position in favor of banning internal combustion engines, and with regard to the decision-making procedure in this matter, it subsequently considered that its proposal was accepted without discussion in this committee. On Monday, the previous government of Prime Minister Eduard Heger was replaced by a cabinet of officials.
The now approved resolution of the Slovak Parliament is milder than the original decision of its European Committee, which anticipated that the country would be without any exceptions against the introduction of a ban on the sale of cars with combustion engines.
Slovakia has been maintaining the position of the world's largest car manufacturer in terms of population for several years. The automotive industry is the main engine of the country's economy. Kia, Jaguar Land Rover, Stellantis and Volkswagen have their factories in Slovakia. They will be joined by the plant of the Volvo car company, which announced last summer that it will build a factory for the production of electric cars in the east of Slovakia.