EU legislation on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe (Directive 2008/50/EC) sets air quality limits that cannot be exceeded anywhere in the EU, and obliges Member States to limit the exposure of citizens to harmful air pollutants. In this respect, the European Commission could appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on air quality in nine EU countries, including Romania, sources said for Welt am Sonntag.
According to the German publication, the situation could lead to the establishment of limits on the circulation of diesel vehicles in major urban centers.
In January 2018, in a final push to find solutions to address the serious problem of air pollution in the European Union, Commissioner for Environment, Karmenu Vella has invited ministers from 9 Member States to convene in Brussels in an air quality ministerial summit.
The 9 Member States, namely the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and the United Kingdom, face infringement procedures for exceeding agreed air pollution limits.
The Commission has taken legal action against Member States over poor air quality since 2008, focussing initially on particulate matter (PM10), for which the compliance deadline was 2005, and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), for which the compliance deadline was 2010.