Brussels, 29th October 2008
Concerned about the employment situation in the European automotive sector CARS 21 stakeholders have met for a High Level Conference and agreed on conclusions on how to foster a competitive European car industry. All participants shared the need to position European car industry as global leader in clean, safe and affordable vehicles as they way ahead for safeguarding jobs and living up to the climate change challenge. The conference underlined that carmakers in the EU need to be able to compete on fair terms in international markets. A task force to promote "green" cars will be set up, which should bring together all relevant stakeholders to explore technical, regulatory and economic hurdles and suggest ways forward for such vehicles.
Vice-President Günter Verheugen, responsible for enterprise and industry policy said “caring about the European car industry means caring about millions of present and future jobs in the EU. It also means caring about clean and affordable cars to responds to the right to mobility in an environmental friendly way. Responsing to stakeholders concerns now, will help us to find the most appropriate answer and to turn the current crisis into a chance.”
The High-Level Group on a competitive automotive regulatory system for the 21st century (CARS 21) was set up in April 2005 by the European Commission to chart the way towards sustainable development of a competitive European automotive industry. The group, chaired by Vice-President Günter Verheugen, was mandated to make recommendations for the short, medium and the long term public policy and regulatory framework for the European automotive industry
Drawing on this CARS 21 process, today’s conference agreed on a report and on a set of recommendations, such as:
The full report lists 16 recommendations, covering also road safety, improving the internal market (such as new type-approvals for electric vehicles), restructuring of the sector, taxation/incentives, vehicle repair information etc.