Motion for a resolution - B6-0153/2009Motion 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 Werner Langen, Giles Chichester, Stefano Zappalà, Amalia Sartori and Ivo Belet
on behalf of the PPE-DE Group
on the future of the automotive 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 automotive industry

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the Lisbon European Council of 23 and 24 March 2000,

–  having regard to the Commission Communication of 2 February 2005 to the Spring European Council, ‘Working together for growth and jobs – A new start for the Lisbon Strategy’ (COM(2005) 24 final),

–  having regard to the conclusions of the CARS 21 High-Level Group of 12 December 2005 and the Mid-Term Review High-Level Conference’s conclusions of 29 October 2008,

–  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 Council and Commission statements of 4 February 2009 on the impact of the financial crisis on the car industry,

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

–  having regard to the Commission Communication of 25 February 2009, ‘Responding to the crisis in the European automotive industry’ (COM(2009) 104 final),

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

A.  whereas placeEurope is facing an exceptional and deep financial and economic crisis,

B.   whereas the European financial market is currently not functioning properly, notably with regard to its lending activities,

C.   whereas the European automotive industry is particularly hit by the impact of the current crisis, being a key sector of the European economy contributing to employment, innovation and the competitiveness of the whole economy,

D.  whereas 2009 is expected to witness a further significant drop in vehicle demand and consequent drop in production, inevitably raising pressure on employment and investment levels in the EU,

E.  whereas the European automotive sector is the largest private investor in R&D in the European Union, and European passenger car and commercial vehicle manufacturers must sustain high levels of investment in the light of regulatory and market requirements, in particular with regard to ensuring the transition to a low-emission fleet,

F.  whereas the European automotive industry employs 12 million workers directly and indirectly, that is 6 % of the employed population in the European Union, and millions of those jobs are today at risk,

G.  whereas the European automotive industry is key to the EU economy because of its multiplier effect on other sectors and industries, and in particular the existence of hundreds of thousands of small and medium-size businesses,

H.   whereas some Member States have started to adopt national measures to support the automotive industry,

I.   whereas the Commission is currently negotiating further trade liberalisation in the framework of the Doha Round and a free trade agreement with South Korea,

1.  Recognises that the automotive industry has been put under intense pressure by the current economic and financial crisis, experiencing in particular a severe drop in demand for cars, difficulties with accessing credit finance and structural problems pre-dating the crisis;

2.   Notes with deep concern that so far measures adopted at European level do not adequately match the challenges brought about by the current crisis and calls for a real European framework for action, providing concrete steps on how both the EU and the Member States can take the decisive measures needed;

3.   Notes with increasing concern that some short-term measures adopted at national level by Member States could contribute to distorting competition within the single market, damaging long-term competitiveness, and therefore calls on the Member States to ensure that further measures will be coherent, efficient and coordinated;

4.   Urges the Council and Commission therefore to coordinate actions at European level to avoid protectionist moves and to ensure the adoption of EU-wide measures rather than national ones;

5.   Calls on the Commission to mobilise all its resources to combat the crisis and to set up new instruments where necessary, and welcomes in this context the temporary framework for state aid assessment set up by the European Economic Recovery Plan;

6.   Calls on the Council and Commission to speed up, simplify and increase financial support for the automotive industry, notably through the European Investment Bank and the European Central Bank and by allowing state guarantees for low-interest loans; considers that this financial support, notably via loans, should help to stimulate demand for new vehicles, to the benefit of economic growth, the environment and road safety;

7.   Reaffirms that policies, both at EU and national levels, should contribute to tackling the restructuring phase that the automotive industry is facing due to a very competitive business environment, and therefore encourages the sector to implement such adjustments in a socially responsible way, in close cooperation with the social partners;

8.   Urges the Commission in this context to facilitate, improve and speed up access to existing instruments such as the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund and the Structural Funds;

9.   Reaffirms that the automotive industry needs continuous investment in R&D programmes delivering the best possible solutions for quality, safety and environmental performance to achieve a sustainable competitive framework, and therefore invites the Commission in that context to facilitate, improve and speed up the access to EU support instruments for R&D and innovation, such as the Seventh Framework Programme;

10.  Calls on the Commission to draw up guidelines and recommendations for measures encouraging a coordinated approach to fleet renewal in the case of light and heavy-duty vehicles and public transport vehicles, such as scrapping schemes and other market incentives, having positive and short-term effects on consumer demand for new cars, and calls on the Commission to monitor national measures already implemented in this context to avoid distortions on the internal market;

11.  Calls on the Council and Commission to seize the opportunity to review existing car taxation to coordinate fiscal regimes across the European Union;

12.  Confirms the need to deepen the dialogue and on-going discussions with third countries and the main EU trading partners on the future of the automotive sector, and calls therefore on the Commission to monitor closely developments in non-EU countries, notably in the United States and Asia, to guarantee a level playing-field at international level, refraining from protectionism and discriminatory measures in the global car market;

13.  Calls on the Commission to postpone the conclusion of the free trade agreement between the European Union and country-regionplaceSouth KoreaPlaceName until a balanced and fair deal between the two partners is found;

14.  Calls on the Commission to fully apply Better Regulation principles and therefore to carry out a thorough assessment of the impact of new EU legislation on cars, in particular with regard to the effect on the cost of new cars and the sufficient lead-time needed to implement the measures, and urges the Commission to adopt a more cautious approach to regulation in line with the recommendations of CARS 21, thus providing legal certainty and predictability for the automotive sector;

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