The European Commission will make its decision next month on whether to initiate legal action against nine of its member states, including Germany, Britain and France, on the grounds that they have violated EU air pollution rules. The Commission spokesman stated that the countries including Italy, Spain, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia were given 10 days to reduce pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter (PM), to provide “additional reliable, timely and effective measures”. Correspondingly, the countries in question continue to take measures. Germany, in a letter to the Commission of 11 February, has expressed plans to make public transportation free in cities suffering from air quality problems. The French Minister of Environment held meetings with the local authorities of the areas that violate pollution limits to come up with a plan by the end of March. Italy sent a letter to Brussels last week, explaining plans to spend € 6.5 billion “in the coming years” to improve air quality. If the EU Commission finds these unsatisfactory, it can drag the countries to the highest European court. – Reuters

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