Motion for a resolution - B6-0152/2009Motion for a resolution



to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission
pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Cristiana Muscardini, Adam Bielan, Roberta Angelilli, Mario Borghezio and Antonio Mussa
on behalf of the UEN Group
on the future of the car industry

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B6-0152/2009

Procedure : 2009/2560(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  


European Parliament resolution on the future of the car industry

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the CARS 21 High-Level Group of 12 December 2005,

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2008 on CARS 21: A Competitive Automotive Regulatory Framework (2007/2120(INI)),

–  having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the Brussels European Council of 15 and 16 October 2008,

–  having regard to the Commission Communication of 29 October 2008, ‘From financial crisis to recovery: A European framework for action’ (COM(2008) 706 final),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication to the European Council of 26 November 2008, ‘A European Economic Recovery Plan’ (COM(2008) 800 final)

–  having regard to the Competitiveness Council conclusions of 5 and 6 March 2009 on the automotive industry,

–  having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas Europe is facing an exceptional and dramatic financial and economic crisis and the forecasts for the years 2009 and 2010 are alarming; whereas the financial markets, despite the first measures adopted, are currently not functioning properly,

B.  whereas the automotive industry is central to Europe’s prosperity, since the EU is the world’s largest producer of motor vehicles and it is one of the largest private employers, with 12 million jobs dependent on the industry,

C.  whereas the automotive industry is also a huge employer of skilled workforces and it is a key driver of knowledge and innovation, investing more than EUR 20 billion a year in research and development,

D.  whereas the automotive manufacturing industry is seriously affected by the ongoing financial crisis, with new car registrations declining by 20 % in the last quarter of 2008 and new car sales falling by 1.2 million in 2008,

E.  whereas the automotive industry is closely linked with many other industPersonNamerial sectors – a large number of subcontractors and suppliers are very often composed of small and medium-size enterprises, which are being equally and dramatically hit by the financial crisis with multiplying employment risks,

F.  whereas in a market economy primary responsibility for dealing with the crisis lies with individual companies, but in some exceptional and determined cases public-sector intervention in accordance with state aid rules is justified, even indispensable, for what was before the financial crisis a vital sector of the European economy and society,

G.  whereas some Member States have started to adopt national measures to support the industry, with positive effects on the car demand trend,

H.  whereas such plans have been scrutinised by the Commission’s services and remain fully coherent with corresponding action at a European level and respectful of the state aid rules,

I.  whereas the Commission is currently negotiating further trade liberalisation in the Doha Round and in new free trade agreements, in particular the free trade agreement with South Korea, which directly affects the automotive sector,

J.  whereas a return to strong protectionist measures is not the best response to the current financial and economic crisis, since it would generate countermeasures by world competitors with negative and restrictive effects on world trade,

1.  Believes that only coordinated political action at European level, with the full involvement of the major actors of the sector, regarding both the supply and demand side, can confront and overcome the difficulties of the automotive sector;

2. Considers that this economic aid plan should be based on (a) securing access to credit for car producers and suppliers, and in this context the European Investment Bank can play a significant role in new recovery projects; (b) stimulating demand for vehicles, which includes incentives to scrap old cars and to buy ‘green’ cars; (c) cushioning the social effects of possible restructuring and retaining skilled workforces by the full use of the Globalisation Adjustment Fund and the European Special Fund;(d) special aid for research and investment;

3.  Considers that the current aid measures for the automotive industry could represent a serious and important opportunity to address long-term structural issues which still exist in the car industry; in this context calls on the various players of the sector to improve and increase their production efficiency and capacity utilisation;

4.  Stresses that access to finance and returning to a proper banking system which finally restores the confidence of the consumers is a prerequisite for the recovery of the automotive sector, and in this context calls on the Commission and the European Investment Bank to jointly present to the Spring European Council further options to improve access to finance for industry and in particular for the SMEs of the sector;

5.  Underlines the fact that the automotive industry is also responsible for responding to the current crisis and must make significant efforts to contribute to the recovery, bearing in mind that special attention should be devoted to the interests and expectations of the labour force in the utilisation of state economic intervention;

6.  Stresses that state economic intervention must at all times comply with EU state aid rules and the principles of the internal market, the full and effective functioning of which is a prerequisite for the recovery and future growth of the Continent;

7.  Reaffirms the necessity to maintain a high level of research and development investment, in particular in the area of clean technologies which could reinforce the competitiveness of the European industry and positively respond in combating climate change;

8.  Welcomes the CARS 21 Mid-term Review High Level Conference’s conclusions, with the involvement of the industry and relevant stakeholders, which aim at preserving and guaranteeing an integrated approach when presenting a new legislative proposal; in this context invites the Commission to assess any possible new legislative initiative in line with these principles;

9.  Underlines the fact that since this global crisis affects other world actors in the automotive sector, in particular the United States, a global solution requires a permanent dialogue with third countries and the main EU trading partners at multilateral and bilateral levels, in order to avoid unjustified penalisation of the EU industry due to protectionist and discriminatory measures adopted by third countries;

10.  Calls on the Commission to postpone conclusion of the free trade agreement between the European Union and country-regionplaceSouth KoreaPersonName until a balanced solution on the implications for the car sector is found;

11.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.