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Tuesday, 15 December 2009 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Question Hour with the President of the Commission

  Ivo Belet (PPE).(NL) Mr President. President Barroso, I should like to ask you a question regarding the future of the automobile sector which, indeed, will remain one of the most important industrial sectors even after 2020. Some of our crown jewels are about to be sold off to China, which is an unwelcome development. In my opinion, it is by no means too late to avert this, but to do so we – you, Mr President, and the new European Commission – must move up a gear as a matter of urgency. We must mobilise more resources for research and development, with greater focus on the automobile sector, and we must also, of course, mobilise more financial resources from the European Investment Bank. As I see it, this is the only way to ensure that our current dependence on oil is not replaced with a future dependence on Chinese electric batteries, for example. Hence my question: are you and the European Commission prepared to assume a coordinating role in the short term, including with regard to the Opel dossier, so that we can join together resolutely to focus on the new, environmentally friendly technologies in the automobile sector?

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