May 20. 2024. 11:36

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Slovak support for combustion engine ban deemed unconstitutional


The Environment Ministry’s voting in favour of the EU’s de facto combustion engine ban in Tuesday’s Council meeting was unconstitutional as it effectively bypassed the National Council’s European affairs committee previously opposing the ban, the opposition Freedom and Solidarity Party said.

About two weeks ago, the committee voted on the Slovak position on CO2 emission standards for passenger cars and light-duty vehicles. Its decision goes against the EU’s de facto ban and binds the Environment Ministry despite its previous support for the controversial legislation.

But State Secretary Michal Kiča, a vocal supporter of the combustion engine ban who represented Slovakia at the Council meeting, did not stick to the agreed position and voted yes.

The ban received wide approval, with only Poland voting against it, while Italy, Romania and Bulgaria abstained.

The Environment Ministry explained that after the Commission reached a deal with Germany on e-fuels over the weekend, it had asked parliament’s European Affairs Committee to allow the Ministry to vote in favour.

But since the committee did not hold a meeting before the Council vote, the Freedom and Solidarity Party says the Ministry had no right to vote yes.

Freedom and Solidarity complained about the vote despite National Council member Ján Oravec saying that the agreed position is not “rigid”.

“If any situation arises, Slovakia should coordinate its position with Germany and other countries,” Oravec said during the Committee meeting.

Conformity with the constitution will be reviewed by President Zuzana Čaputová.

(Michal Hudec | EURACTIV.sk)