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Brussels, 19 February 2010

Informal meeting with EU ministers on the economic situation in the car sector

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, in charge of Industry and Entrepreneurship, met today with ministers in charge of the automotive industry. They discussed the economic challenges facing the European car industry, what short-term measures could be made available, as well as the medium term strategy ensuring a sustainable recovery from the crisis.

The main objective of the meeting was for the Commission and Ministers around the table to have an understanding of the current situation of the car sector from a European perspective. The meeting also aimed at agreeing on a common vision that ensures the long-term viability of the car industry in Europe.

The meeting confirmed that although supportive measures have been effective in eliminating some of the immediate impacts of the crisis, the economic situation of the European car sector remains difficult.

The industry faces overcapacity and at the same time reduced consumer demand due to the overall economic climate. To help the industry overcome the short term challenges, the participants supported the continuation of discussions at the European level to find common solutions. Coordination of support measures taken at Member State level should continue to ensure the functioning of the internal market.

Furthermore, the coordination at European level is necessary to achieve a sustainable recovery from the crisis with a minimal social impact. The targeted use of EU instruments, such as EIB loans and structural funds shall be reinforced.

The participants have identified that green technologies can provide a strategic medium term perspective for the car industry to recover from the crisis and to reinforce its competitiveness. Thus, a European strategy on Clean and Energy Efficient Cars should be developed and implemented that sets out the necessary actions to encourage market introduction of green vehicles, including electric cars.

To structure the discussions on these strategic issues, the re-launch of the CARS 21 High Level Group has been agreed.

For more information:

Competitiveness and CARS21 – ;

Cars 21 High Level Group –

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