With 12 million sector-related jobs the automotive industry is vital for Europe’s prosperity and job creation. The EU needs to maintain a world-class car industry, producing the most energy efficient and safe vehicles globally and providing high-skilled jobs to millions. To make this happen, the European Commission tabled today the CARS 2020 Action Plan aimed at reinforcing this industry’s competitiveness and sustainability heading towards 2020.
The Commission proposes a massive innovative push by streamlining research and innovation under the European Green Vehicle Initiative. Co-operation with the European Investment Bank will be reinforced to finance an innovation boost and facilitate SME access to credit. An EU standard recharging interface will provide the regulatory certainty needed to facilitate a breakthrough for large scale electric car production.
Innovation in the automotive industry will also be stimulated through a comprehensive package of measures to reduce CO2, pollutant and noise emissions, to drive improvements in road safety and develop technologically-advanced intelligent transport systems (ITS).
In parallel, the Commission also proposes to address the immediate problems in the car sector. In response to a fall in demand on European car markets and plant closure announcements, the Commission will in November bring together car producers and trade union representatives and Ministers of Industry ahead the next Competitiveness Council to review measures for dealing with the present crisis in a co-ordinated way. The car industry is important throughout Europe and a European response is needed. This response should focus on addressing overcapacity, social and technological investment, as well as state aid and demand-side measures, followed by a discussion at the political level.
The Action Plan comprises concrete proposals for policy initiatives in order to:
1. Promote investment in advanced technologies and innovation for clean vehicles
2. Improve market conditions
3. Support industry in accessing the global market
4. Promote investment in skills and training to accompany structural change and anticipate employment and skills needs, for example through encouraging the use of the European Social Fund (ESF) for this purpose.
The next steps
The Commission and Member States must now implement the policies announced. The role of the automotive industry will be to achieve the new ambitious objectives established. In order to monitor this process, and continue the dialogue with the stakeholders a dedicated process will be established called “CARS 2020”.
To read the full press release: click here
Source: European Commission