British environment secretary (minister) Margaret Beckett welcomed the outcome of the final high-level meeting of the CARS 21 group as another positive step towards improving the regulatory environment of the motor industry in the EU.

The group has published a series of recommendations on improving the competitiveness of the automotive sector in the EU. It brought together representatives from the European Commission, European Parliament, member state governments, industry and other stakeholders.

The group aims to simplify technical regulations, endorsed a number of safety measures, and discussed ways in which environmental legislation in the sector can be made more coherent and consistent.

Beckett, the UK representative on the group, said: "The UK presidency fully supports this initiative by the commission, which demonstrates that better regulation and competitiveness principles can be fully compatible with environmental and social objectives. We look forward to working with the commission and other stakeholders in taking these actions forward."

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