Regulation European Angst

The Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations (FEMA) has released its Autum 2011 Newsletter.

The newsletter has links to previous recent FEMA articles including an interview with MEPs Kerstin Westphal and Bernd Lange on the Type Approval Regulation.

FEMA previously interviewed UK MEP Malcolm Harbour and Chairman of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) , which is voting on the 22nd November, assuming that the vote is not postponed, as has previously happened, on amendments submitted to the European Commission’s proposal on Approval and market surveillance of two – or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles.

At Right To Ride EU we commented on the interview with Malcolm Harbour that, “Although the amendments will be voted on at the IMCO meeting on the 22nd November, as yet we do not know what has already been deleted, what the compromises will be, nor what the final report which will voted on in Parliament will contain”.

We hoped that this interview would bring a halt to the “Silly Season”, the scaremongering and the woes of the Harbingers of Doom that this will bring the end to motorcycling, so that we could focus on the real issues.

Malcolm Harbour commented at the start of the interview with FEMA, “There is significant hysteria surrounding the review of this Regulation and clearly I don’t support the petition (this is a petition by the UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen). This is the result of political opportunism playing up rider concerns with the EU lawmaking process.”

European Angst

However ploughing full steam ahead is the Motorcycle News (MCN) newspaper organised – MCN Back-off EU – protest rally for the 22nd of November in Brussels (to coincide with the schedule vote in the IMCO committee), originally proposed by UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen.

Backed at the start by the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF), MCN reports that the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG UK) has now agreed to back the protest.

On the political front it appears that the only other politician expressing support for the protest ride is UK Conservative MP Steve Baker, who recently became the new Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Motorcycling in Westminster.

We understand that riders are worried about the proposal and the problems that may evolve from any subsequent regulation, especially mandatory ABS, AHO and OBD, not to mention any potential introduction of anti-tampering measures.

We believe that both the Commission and rapporteur of the IMCO committee have acted in haste without sufficient consultation and allowing the vested interests of lobbying sectors to influence their decisions.

Motorcycling has an important part to play in transport and in our view, the Commission’s proposal will have an enormous impact on the cost of motorcycling in the future, without making any difference to safety.

The mess that the proposal and subsequent IMCO report are in, may well leave the industry in a nightmare scenario of being unable to work to the proposed timetable on emissions and have huge economic consequences for the industry.

What appears to be missing from FEMA and its National organisations – and – with few exceptions, from the motorcycling press as well, are facts and information on how these changes will affect us all.

Unfortunately the focus on the Commission’s proposal and the IMCO rapporteur’s report has been lost in a mire of hype and misinformation and it would appear that there is a whole lot of anti European angst without looking into the factual details of this proposal.

Our view is that we need to protest and challenge unfair and unrealistic regulations, but we need to do it for the right reasons.

Read FEMA Interviews and our comments at Right To Ride EU – Click Here

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  1. Steve Farrell Senior Reporter at Motor Cycle News has contacted us let us know, that detailed in todays – Wednesday 9th November 2011 – MCN, Conservative MP Mike Weatherley has agreed to join the MCN Back-off EU – protest rally in Brussels.