The draft regulation in question prohibits the sale of new vehicles emitting CO2, from 2035. This does not concern those already in use, as the author of this tweet wants to believe. In any event, a Member State of the European Union cannot decide not to apply a European regulation. And besides, the Italian government said no such thing.
We must first establish the facts: on October 27, the Council of the European Union – which brings together the representatives of the States – and the European Parliament – directly elected by European citizens – did not decide to ban thermal vehicles in Europe in 2035, but the sale of new vehicles emitting CO2. Then, Italy, which has not made a formal decision, will have no other choice but to respect the new European regulations.
What exactly does the draft regulation provide that Italy intends not to respect according to the tweet?
This text, which is currently only an agreement between the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, has yet to be formally adopted. It provides for the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles in the European Union from 2035, in favor of vehicles that do not emit CO2. Cars with thermal engines already in circulation will therefore not be prohibited, and can still be taken out of the garage after this date. New models may even be produced, but only for export outside the Union. The only exception: luxury car manufacturers. Those who produce fewer than 1,000 vehicles per year will not be affected, and those who produce fewer than 10,000 will have until 2036 to complete their electric transition.
The objectives set by the text may nevertheless be adapted. France, through its Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, defended a “review clause” in 2026. This will make it possible to take into account the technological advances made by then, and to include, why not, e-fuels.
Italy cannot “decide not to respect this European madness”
On the web, this is the key argument of some Internet users opposed to this draft regulation: “Italy made a common sense decision by refusing the European ban”.
In reality, it is not so, at least in law. If the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, judged in December that the deadline was not “not reasonable”, Italy has not said it will refuse to abide by the settlement. She doesn’t have the right to.
There is – Highlighters pound him regularly – a principle of the primacy of Union law. The Court of Justice of the European Union has consecrated it in 1964 : European Union rules take precedence over national laws, which must comply with them. If it adopted a law contrary to the regulation, Italy would therefore expose itself to heavy financial penalties imposed by the Union.
This is all the more true as the European regulations are of direct applicability. They do not need to be transposed into national law to apply. Italian car manufacturers will therefore have to comply with it as soon as it enters into force after being published in the Official Journal of the European Union. And this, without Italy having a say. The legislative text, once adopted by MEPs and a majority of Member States, will apply throughout the territory of the Union.
The last word will go to the Italian judge
Direct applicability also allows individuals to rely on a European regulation directly before the judge of their own State. If Italy passed a national law authorizing the sale of new cars emitting CO2 despite this European regulation, the Italian judge could not apply it, and any producer attempting to sell emitting vehicles after 2035 would be in violation.
In this specific case, if some Italian manufacturers turn a deaf ear, it is easy to imagine that their competitors will seize the national courts, and that the culprits will be condemned. So even if the Italian State wanted to prevent the application of this ban, it really could not.
An error in this content? Do you want to submit information for verification? Let us know using our online form. Find our correction and information submission policy on the Our method page.
A tweet that has gone viral: “Italy has just decided NOT to respect this European madness to ban thermal cars in 2035. The breach is open, others will follow.” – Highlighters