It has signed an agreement with the USA, Japan and China to address air pollution for transport which will allow for joint research on emissions and vehicle testing to create a new Euro V standard - the current cleanest standard is Euro IV.
The EU said it foresees the creation of a common scientific platform to measure and benchmark air pollution from traffic.
A spokesman said: 'The joint effort will offer scientific support for the forthcoming international emission requirements for transport, and a basis for the next European standards for passenger cars and light-duty vehicles.'
Regulatory bodies, industrial stakeholders and scientists from all over the world are meeting in Milan to discuss emission measurement and testing systems, emission standards, their effects on human health, and new fuels, engines and after-treatment technologies.
European research commissioner Philippe Busquin said: 'Air pollution affects everyone. With the ever-increasing use of vehicles, the problem requires innovative solutions which can help protect human health and the environment and, at the same time, boost industry's competitiveness.
'We have to set emission standards but we also have to monitor their implementation, study the effects of emissions on human health and the environment, develop new applications to make car engines cleaner and help the sector face this challenge and win it. More research is needed to achieve this goal, and this agreement will feed into the process by bringing together key players in this field.'