How to support the European car industry?
© European Communities
The economic recession has had a huge negative impact on the car industry. In the margins of the discussions on the European economic recovery plan, the Competitiveness Council adopted conclusions on 5 March aimed at strengthening the EU's efforts to tackle the crisis and support the sector.
The decline in car sales affects not only manufacturers themselves but also the considerable number of small and medium-sized businesses that depend directly on the car industry as suppliers and retailers. Thousands of jobs are consequently at stake.
The car industry is a key sector of the European economy contributing to employment, innovation and competitiveness in Europe. The industry must strive to continue developing the skills of its workforces. The focus should be on investment in innovative and green technologies. Renewal of the car fleet should also be encouraged to boost demand for new, safer and environmentally friendlier vehicles.
An urgent problem to be solved is access to finance. The Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have been invited to present proposals for supporting measures consistent with the principles of the internal market and the need to prevent distortion of competition. The Council lastly stressed the importance of avoiding protectionism and discriminatory measures in the global car market.
Council conclusions (pdf)
Council webcast of press conference