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Wednesday, 21 October 2009 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Preparation of the European Council (29 and 30 October 2009) (debate)
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  Ivo Belet (PPE), in writing. (NL) Mr President, we assume that the agenda of the forthcoming European Council will also include the economic crisis, in particular the situation with Opel. The acquisition of Opel and the massive national State aid promised in this connection is more than a test case for Europe; it is about the credibility of the European Commission, which must ensure that no unlawful State aid is granted. It is unacceptable for healthy, profitable plants to be closed because the Member State in which they are situated is unable to provide as much State aid as another – larger and more powerful – Member State.

We must also learn lessons from the Opel affair: it is not yet too late to launch a coordinated European strategy for the automobile sector. CARS 21 was, and remains, a praiseworthy plan, but it is far from sufficient. Europe must produce a vigorous plan for the future that drastically accelerates the development of the sustainable electric car. To do so, we need to bring European car manufacturers together round the table, and to focus resources from the Seventh Framework Programme on this. It is time to creep out of our defensive position and to give all the workers in the largest industry in Europe a positive signal.

 
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