While many countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)
have phased out leaded gasoline, lead has yet to be completely
eliminated in Southeast Europe (SEE) and Turkey and much
remains to be done in terms of fuel sulphur levels and ageing
vehicle fleets. In the New Member States of the EU, including
the Baltic states, Hungary, Slovenia, the Czech Republic,
Slovakia and Poland, cleaner fuels and vehicles issues to
be addressed include lower diesel emissions through improvements
in vehicle emissions technology and fleet renewal, along
with continued fuels and vehicles improvements in line with
EU legislation and standards. Overall, there is also great
interest in alternative vehicles and fuels in the region.
Given the challenges and opportunities in the region, and
building on decisions taken at the March, 2004 Partnership
meeting in Rome, the PCFV has jointly supported and helped
implement a project to gather information and foster discussion
on cleaner fuels and vehicles in Central and Eastern Europe
& Turkey with the USEPA, UNEP, the Regional Environmental
Center (REC) and UNDESA.
Information-gathering on air quality standards, fuel quality,
vehicle emissions and the vehicle fleet in 16 countries
in the region by the REC was followed by a conference to
discuss the findings and share country experience on improvements
in fuel quality and vehicle fleets in light of EU legislation.
The conference was hosted by REC at their headquarters
in Szentendre, Hungary on 27-28 October. The Partnership
also participated in a complementary workshop funded by
the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the
Environment (VROM) focusing on fuel quality in SEE and Turkey,
which immediately preceded the conference on 25-26 October.
Information and decisions from the VROM workshop are also
The conference not only launched the PCFV in the region;
it helped to raise the profile of cleaner fuels and vehicles
as priorities for policymakers, industry and all stakeholders
in the region. As a first step, participants agreed to develop
a regional network of decisionmakers and experts, while
calling for coordinated national and regional action for
cleaner air through the improvement of vehicle fuel quality
and the reduction of vehicle emissions.