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Τρίτη 20 Νοεμβρίου 2012 - Στρασβούργο Αναθεωρημένη έκδοση

12. Περιπτώσεις αναδιάρθρωσης στην αυτοκινητοβιομηχανία (συζήτηση)
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  President. − The next item is the Commission statement on cases of restructuring in the European car industry (2012/2880(RSP)).

 
  
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  László Andor, Member of the Commission. − Mr President, in the last few months a number of restructuring processes have been announced in many industrial sectors in various Member States. 274 cases of restructuring were registered in the third quarter of 2012, according to the latest data from the European Restructuring Monitor. These cases amount to a net job loss of more than 74 000, thus showing a reversed situation compared to the pre-crisis one, which saw the net creation of 6 600 jobs in the third quarter of 2007 for the same number of restructuring cases.

These figures reflect the current difficult macro-economic situation linked to the sovereign debt crisis but probably also a structural change in the European economy and labour market. This requires clear policy action. More than ever, good anticipation of change and responsible management of restructuring is crucial. If not managed properly, restructuring operations can have negative consequences for the economy of the surrounding area, incur high social costs across regions and negatively affect workers and their families.

The situation is particularly worrying in the automotive sector, where major restructuring operations have been announced in recent months. There is a significant risk that more such announcements will be made in the coming months. The latest announcements concern PSA and Ford. PSA has announced its intention to close its plant in Aulnay-sous-Bois and to restructure the plant in Rennes. Ford has announced its intention to close its plant in Genk in Belgium as well as the plants in Southampton and Dagenham in the United Kingdom.

The total amount, including indirect job losses in the supply chain, could be as much as 22 000 job losses. Moreover, announcements were also made by General Motors, Volvo and, in the supply chain, by Faurecia. While the difficulties of the automotive industry are linked to the situation on European markets, it has to be noted that the industry also suffers from long-standing structural overcapacities.

The Commission is ready to help Member States and all stakeholders to mobilise instruments and policies that can help the sector to restructure and build a sustainable future. Most urgently, the Commission wants to explore all possibilities to support workers affected by restructuring or likely to be affected in the future.

The Commission has already spelled out in detail its strategy for the automotive sector in the CARS 2020 Action Plan, adopted on 8 November 2012. In this strategic document, the Commission announces how it intends to conduct its policies supporting the sector in many different policy fields: research, development and innovation, trade policy, a better functioning internal market, investment in human capital and the anticipation of change and restructuring.

The objective is to boost the competitiveness of the industry. Some actions will thus produce effects in the longer term; others, however, can be implemented already. The Competitiveness Council of 10 December 2012 will focus discussions on these, with a view also to minimising the social and economic consequences of announced restructuring.

In the field of anticipation of change, the Commission will support the creation of a European Automotive Skills Council, which will bring together existing national organisations conducting research on skills and employment in the automotive sector. The Commission will also support the creation of a social dialogue committee that should bring together manufacturers and suppliers representing workers and employers at the joint request of all interested parties.

With regard to overcapacity and restructuring, it has to be stressed that this is mainly the responsibility of the industry, but the Commission also has a role to play. First of all, the Commission will monitor restructuring activities to ensure their strict compliance with EU legislation, in particular concerning state aid and internal market rules. The Commission also expects each individual company to comply with the rules established in the directives on information and consultation and on collective redundancies, as well as with any existing company agreements.

Secondly, the Commission will make all possible efforts to minimise the negative social effect of restructuring, which is the core of the Commission’s message today. For that purpose, the Commission will encourage the use of the European Social Fund for retraining and re-skilling of workers in the new financial perspective of the Structural Funds. The Commission will also encourage the Member States to use the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, the EGF. It is important to note that the automotive sector is already the sector with the highest number of EGF cases – namely 16 – and that almost 21 000 automotive workers have been allocated EGF assistance worth a total of EUR 113 million.

In this context, it would be more important then ever to keep a reinforced EGF in the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) after 2014. This is far from being guaranteed and I count on your support in this regard.

In order to ensure policy consistency, the Commission will consider re-launching the inter-service restructuring Task Force, which will bring together the Member States, regional authorities, industry and the social partners to study and follow up the main cases of automotive plant closures or significant downsizing. The Task Force would streamline the use of the relevant EU Funds by providing technical assistance, reducing waiting time, advising on the most effective use of resources, monitoring and reporting.

In addition, for each region affected by a plant closure or a significant downsizing, the Commission will advise, facilitate and liaise with a partnership of regional stakeholders, led by local authorities who would pool the resources available and prepare a complete package of measures such as measures for workers made redundant, support for reconversion of suppliers, community support, measures to develop technology, and so on and so forth.

In order to benefit from existing experiences, the Commission also wants to identify good practices and promote an anticipative approach in restructuring, in consultation with representatives of the automotive-intensive regions, employment authorities and the sector’s stakeholders.

More generally, the Commission will encourage Member States to make use of labour flexibility schemes and ESF co-financing to support suppliers who may need additional time to find new clients following the closure or downsizing of an automotive plant.

 
  
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  Ivo Belet, namens de PPE-Fractie. – Voorzitter, commissaris, u hebt gesproken over overcapaciteit en herstructurering. We zijn er uiteraard niet blind voor, maar vandaag gaan we er toch iets te gemakkelijk van uit dat we absoluut op Europees niveau, of u als Europese Commissie, daar niets in kunnen doen. U spreekt over het monitoren en het bewaken van de toepassing van de Europese wetgeving, maar vandaag is het toch zo dat multinationals als Opel, General Motors of Ford de verschillende nationale subsidiestelsels gewoon tegen elkaar uitspelen of kijken waar ze het goedkoopst tegen de laagste sociale kosten kunnen produceren, en dan hun productie gewoon naar die plaats verhuizen.

Dat is eigenlijk de ultieme miskenning van de gebrekkige werking van de Europese interne markt als bedrijven gaan delokaliseren op basis van de omvang van de nationale markt, en dat kan natuurlijk niet de bedoeling zijn. Het illustreert ook op een bijzonder pijnlijke manier, commissaris, het ontstellende gebrek aan minimale sociale afspraken binnen Europa. Mag ik verwijzen naar artikel 26 van het Europees Verdrag. Dat voorziet uitdrukkelijk in de mogelijkheid dat de Europese Commissie voorstellen doet om een evenwichtige werking van de interne markt te garanderen en dat artikel zouden we hier perfect kunnen aangrijpen om dergelijke herstructureringen te begeleiden.

Nog twee puntjes, commissaris, ten eerste wordt in het nieuwe actieplan CARS 2020, waar u naar verwezen hebt, uitdrukkelijk in maatregelen voorzien om de toeleveranciers te begeleiden die getroffen worden door de sluiting van een autofabriek. Het is erg belangrijk dat de toeleveranciers een beroep kunnen doen op overbruggingsmaatregelen om op zoek te kunnen gaan naar nieuwe klanten. Bent u bereid daar op korte termijn werk van te maken?

En tot slot dan nog, commissaris, de Europese Investeringsbank - om daar nog een woord over te zeggen - moet ophouden met voordelige leningen toe te kennen aan grote bedrijven, grote autobedrijven, die dan die subsidies gebruiken om elders te gaan produceren buiten de Europese Unie en te gaan delokaliseren. Dat kan uiteraard niet de bedoeling zijn. Het is naïef, het is onaanvaardbaar en het moet stoppen. En mogen we van u op dat vlak ook actie verwachten?

 
  
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  Patrizia Toia, a nome del gruppo S&D. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, oggi è richiesto all'Europa un compito nuovo di coordinamento delle politiche industriali e ormai anche i più severi sostenitori dell'autonomia dell'iniziativa privata chiedono l'esercizio di questo ruolo. Senza una maggiore europeizzazione delle strategie nazionali, anche sotto il profilo della tutela dell'occupazione, non si supera la crisi attuale e non ci sarà rilancio.

La crisi dell'auto non è solo sovraccapacità produttiva: è drammatica perdita di occupazione. Ma la crisi sembra ormai strutturale e riguarda il destino stesso dell'auto, del prodotto così com'è oggi. Noi vogliamo tenere l'industria dell'auto in Europa e vogliamo non disperdere le competenze e il know-how esistente e le competenze professionali. Chiediamo perciò che si dia avvio a un grande progetto di ristrutturazione e di rilancio che e lo si faccia in tempi brevi, perché i costi sono proporzionali ai tempi.

La ristrutturazione non può essere solo il frutto di frammentate decisioni nazionali o di singole imprese. Occorre almeno tentare di concertare e di guidare a livello comunitario questo doloroso processo, mettendo attorno al tavolo i soggetti interessati con il dialogo sociale, produttori e forze sindacali e i governi dei singoli paesi, offrendo il sostegno della ricerca, dell'innovazione, la formazione del capitale umano, la riqualificazione, i fondi necessari. So che sarà un compito arduo, perché gli interessi nazionali delle singole imprese non sono affini. Ma poiché lo scontro competitivo in atto nell'Unione europea è molto ambiguo e qualche volta rischia di essere sleale, io penso che alla fine è interesse di tutti i paesi avere un efficace impulso e guida comunitaria, per fronteggiare insieme il sempre più aggressivo mercato mondiale.

 
  
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  Marian Harkin, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, I am delighted to be able to make a few comments on cases of restructuring in the car industry.

First of all, we have to consider the impact on the industry itself and on the economies in the various Member States, but equally we need to look at the social impact of all of this – the impact on workers, the impact on their families and on their communities. There is no doubt that this situation has been looming for a long time, with declining domestic demand and of course overcapacity in the industry, and it certainly is questionable whether adequate measures have been taken by Member States to anticipate the structural change that is now taking place in Europe. I certainly look forward to the Commission’s proposals in this area. I would welcome the setting up of an Automotive Skills Council and the social dialogue as outlined by Commissioner Andor.

However, I am particularly concerned with the social impact. The current recession in the EU, coupled with the austerity measures and indeed slow growth globally, paints a pretty dismal picture for many of the workers who will be made redundant. I believe that, in this context, we need to ensure a European response to the issue.

We do have a number of suitable instruments at our disposal, including one mentioned by the Commissioner himself – the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). That Fund was put in place to deal with large-scale redundancies due to globalisation and, in my view, it could provide a significant European response to the situation. The EGF can support Member States in retraining and upskilling workers, and indeed it can assist workers in setting up their own businesses or in accessing opportunities to change their career path. The EGF is important for all Member States – indeed 21 Member States have already accessed it – but it is particularly important for those Member States which are cutting back on expenditure and investment at this point in time, because it can give real assistance and help in funding the retraining and the upskilling of redundant workers.

At the moment we have a blocking minority in Council on the EGF, yet I believe that as an instrument it would be of real assistance in this situation. I am once again calling on Member States to review their opposition to this Fund and look at it as another policy tool available to their redundant workers. It will not solve all their problems, but it can be an important part of the policy mix.

Finally, I agree with Mr Belet that we need a coherent industrial policy in regard to the location of industry and the harmonisation of social standards.

 
  
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  Bart Staes, namens de Verts/ALE-Fractie. – Voorzitter, commissaris, u vermeldde CARS 2020. Dat kan natuurlijk ten allerhoogste maar een begin van antwoord zijn op de problemen in de automobielindustrie. Ja, we moeten investeren in geavanceerde technologieën en in schone voertuigen. Ja, er zijn betere marktvoorwaarden en financiële stimuli nodig voor het milieu. Ja, er is een betere markttoegang nodig. Ja, er is scholing van oudere en jongere werknemers nodig en het Europees Sociaal Fonds moet worden ingezet, maar dat alles is natuurlijk geen antwoord op de concrete sociale drama's die de werknemers van Ford Genk, de werknemers in Southampton, de werknemers in Rennes nu tegemoet zien.

De realiteit is dat de autogiganten lidstaten tegen elkaar opzetten onder het motto "de een zijn dood, is de ander zijn brood". De realiteit is dat daarbij gewone werknemers worden ontslagen of worden gedwongen op hun lonen in te leveren, terwijl CEO's rijkelijk beloond worden met miljoenenweddes en met miljoenenbonussen. De realiteit is dat wanneer er een bedrijfssluiting wordt aangekondigd, de aandeelkoersen stijgen. De realiteit is dat de autogiganten veel te weinig inzetten op innovatie, op mens en op milieu.

Commissaris, u hebt een hele gereedschapskist van mogelijke maatregelen genoemd, maar u bent eigenlijk wel bijzonder vaag geweest. Kunt u hier heel concreet zeggen dat u in alle getroffen regio's zeer concrete initiatieven zult ondersteunen die zorgen voor een ommekeer. Kunt u toezeggen dat u en uw diensten er alles aan zullen doen om die tienduizenden werknemers van Ford, van PSA, van Volvo, die waarschijnlijk binnenkort werkloos worden, dat die dankzij de inzet van de politiek weer een perspectief zullen krijgen? Dat is mijn heel concrete vraag.

 
  
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  Malcolm Harbour, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, I think this is about the fourth debate I have been involved in since I joined this House 13 years ago in which we have discussed problems of over-capacity in the automotive industry. From my perspective, having been in that industry for 30 years, I feel the situation we are facing is amongst the worst, because sales demand has dropped off so much and shows no sign of immediate recovery. The Commission has made a very realistic assessment and has talked about the key tools that need to be put in place to help in the restructuring which many Members are calling for.

The key to the future for the automotive industry in Europe – and we want a really strong and globally competitive automotive industry – is going to be investment in new technologies and new products. That is a core part of the 2020 proposal, but in the meantime we have to help those employees who are affected by plant closures. I have been through that where I live. We have had two major plant closures in the last ten years. We have done the things that the Commissioner talked about: we have pulled local authorities together, we have used European funds and we have looked for ways to retrain and reassign people into manufacturing or service businesses in order to redevelop jobs in those economies. We have the knowledge, ladies and gentlemen; it is there for you to use. Please come and talk about it. This is not a new situation, and it is essential that we deal with it in the way we are talking about if we are to have a really strong, long-term future for a crucial industry.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 149(8))

 
  
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  Mathieu Grosch (PPE), Frage nach dem Verfahren der blauen Karte. – Herr Präsident! Ich bin auch schon seit einigen Jahren hier im Parlament und habe diese Debatten miterlebt. Ich bin aber auch seit all diesen Jahren damit konfrontiert – und ich möchte meinem Kollegen die Frage stellen: Wie kommt es, dass vor sieben bis acht Jahren solche Betriebe EU-, lokale oder nationale Fördergelder bekommen haben und sechs Jahre danach die Türen schließen?

Jetzt müssen wieder Fördergelder hinzukommen, um den Leuten zu Recht zu helfen, ihre Arbeitsplätze nicht zu verlieren. Könnten Sie sich vorstellen, dass wir gemeinsam hier im Parlament noch strengere Regeln aufstellen, und in diesen Fällen sogar Rückforderungen der öffentlichen Gelder erheben, um gerade die zu bezahlen, denen man heute helfen will?

 
  
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  Malcolm Harbour (ECR), blue-card answer. – I am not sure that you were disagreeing with me. The point I was making, and I think Mr Andor was very realistic, is that the funding we need to put in is to help those employees affected by what are inevitable plant closures. The Ford Company according to their own figures – and you can check them – is going to lose EUR 1.6 billion this year in Europe.

Now Mr Staes was talking about the fact the he felt that the management of Ford could make sacrifices and stop closing plants. I am afraid if you are losing EUR 1.6 billion, colleagues, you have to do something about it. I think Ford are right in restructuring production because they want to invest in new models. That is the reality of where we are. We are supporting research and development and we also need to deploy the instruments which Mr Andor was talking about to help people back into new jobs. That, I think, is something that we all agree upon.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 149(8))

 
  
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  Bart Staes (Verts/ALE), "blauwe kaart"-vraag. – Als Ford inderdaad zo'n verlies maakt, 1,6 miljard, hoe kunt u dan verklaren, geachte collega, dat men aan de CEO van Ford, de heer Mulally, een jaarwedde toekent van bijna 30 miljoen dollar, 30 miljoen dollar per jaar! En vorig jaar zelfs een bonus van 36,3 miljoen dollar! Een bedrijf dat zulke verliezen maakt mag niet dat soort weddes aan die CEO's uitbetalen. Bent u het dáarmee eens?

 
  
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  Malcolm Harbour (ECR), blue-card answer. – Mr Staes, the point I made was about the amount of money they are losing in Europe, in their European operations. Globally, Ford are making profits. Because of the way they have restructured their operation in the United States they are doing relatively well there. We need Ford. We need strong partners in Europe. We need investors in Europe. That is why I made the point I did. We are not here to question their wisdom in how much they pay their chief executive globally, because Ford is a global business with plants all over the world. We have to decide what should happen and what is realistic in Europe.

My point is that the priority is to help the people affected, and not to make criticisms about salaries which are not actually going to help solve the problem. We should be helping people and showing them that we are going to help solve their problems and that we understand the agonies of plant closures. I have been there. The factory where I started my career has now closed. I go past there regularly and I see the empty buildings. I do not like that very much, but I have to accept that this is the reality of where we are today.

 
  
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  Mario Borghezio, a nome del gruppo EFD. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, l'odierna discussione, che indubbiamente reitera altre precedenti discussioni, ci offre un quadro, a mio modesto avviso, abbastanza limitato limitata del problema. Non possiamo infatti affrontare il problema sociale e gli aspetti e le ricadute sociali di queste pesanti ristrutturazioni, che non riguardano solo le aziende indicate dal Commissario. Io penso alla situazione della FIAT, del mio Paese, dove un amministratore delegato a mio avviso illude un po' i cittadini e soprattutto i dipendenti della FIAT dicendo: "State tranquilli perché la nuova produzione servirà il mercato americano", quando tutti sanno benissimo che il mercato americano non ha certamente bisogno di altra produzione; è in grado di soddisfare tranquillamente la produzione a venire, che pure si prospetta in quella situazione sotto chiari di luna molto diversi da quelli dell'Europa.

Qui è mancata una politica industriale dell'auto: qui abbiamo un'Unione europea che si occupa dei fagiolini ma non si è occupata seriamente di programmare, tenendo conto degli sviluppi della situazione anche sociale. Il mercato è completamente cambiato e allora: Svegliati Europa! Fai qualcosa, perché bisogna mantenere e conservare il livello e la qualità e la capacità tecnologica e di sviluppo del manifatturiero e specialmente di un settore chiave come quello dell'industria automobilistica europea.

 
  
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  Patrick Le Hyaric, au nom du groupe GUE/NGL. – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, si les institutions européennes voulaient enfin promouvoir la solidarité et l'emploi pour toutes et tous, elles devraient inventer un véritable bouclier industriel et social pour défendre l'industrie automobile, les emplois, la recherche et la formation des travailleurs.

Puisqu'on fait grand bruit autour d'un prétendu pacte de croissance, pourquoi ne mobilise-t-on pas les Fonds structurels et la Banque européenne d'investissement pour défendre chaque site, chaque emploi de PSA à Aulnay, à Rennes, jusqu'à Ford ou General Motors? Le secteur automobile a besoin d'un nouvel élan avec les véhicules de demain qui devraient être propres, plus sûrs, plus économes en énergie et il faut donc pour cela de nouvelles recherches et de nouvelles usines.

La politique commerciale de l'Europe doit être totalement revue, notamment ses accords signés avec la Corée et ceux en négociation avec le Japon, qui laissent l'industrie automobile européenne exsangue.

Monsieur le Commissaire, je propose qu'en coordination avec les États, des moratoires soient décidés sur tous les plans de licenciement et de fermeture d'entreprise, que toute entreprise qui bénéficie de fonds publics européens, mais aussi nationaux, et qui licencie ou délocalise, rende cet argent et qu'un nouveau système de crédit public adossé à des fonds européens et à la Banque centrale européenne puisse promouvoir des projets novateurs, écologiques et créateurs d'emplois.

 
  
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  Philip Claeys (NI). - Voorzitter, de marktindustrie staat onder zeer zware druk in Europa. Men zou dus kunnen verwachten dat de lidstaten en ook de Europese Unie alles in het werk stellen om bijvoorbeeld de automobielsector te helpen tegen concurrentie van buiten de Europese Unie, concurrentie die zich niet aan dezelfde regels hoeft te houden. Maar niets is minder waar.

De Europese Investeringsbank stond een goedkope lening van 100 miljoen euro toe aan Ford om een fabriek op te starten in Turkije in Kocaeli. Sommige bronnen spreken zelfs van een bedrag van 190 miljoen euro dat aan Ford in Turkije is geleend.

Met andere woorden, de Europese Unie financiert en ondersteunt op een actieve manier de delokalisatie van bedrijven uit Europa, zoals Ford Genk. Turkije ontvangt ook van de Commissie miljarden aan zogenaamde pretoetredingssteun. Het was dus perfect te verwachten dat een deel van al dat geld ook gebruikt zou worden om industriële activiteiten uit Europa weg te halen en naar landen als Turkije te verplaatsen.

Hoe heeft het in hemelsnaam zo ver kunnen komen? Hoe legt u dat uit aan de tienduizend mensen in Limburg die hun baan verliezen en de duizenden anderen in bijvoorbeeld Southampton en Dagenham? Zijn er nog gevallen waar de Investeringsbank of de Commissie fabrieken in lagelonenlanden of relatieve lagelonenlanden financiert, waardoor er een oneerlijke concurrentie ontstaat tegen ondernemingen in Europa? Kan de Commissie wat concreter worden op de vraag over welke middelen van het Globaliseringsfonds gebruikt kunnen worden om de ontslagen arbeiders in Genk bijvoorbeeld te heroriënteren op de arbeidsmarkt, om die te begeleiden? Het is stilaan tijd geworden dat daar concrete antwoorden op komen.

 
  
  

ΠΡΟΕΔΡΙΑ: ΓΕΩΡΓΙΟΣ ΠΑΠΑΣΤΑΜΚΟΣ
Αντιπρόεδρος

 
  
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  Theodor Dumitru Stolojan (PPE). - Apreciez atitudinea proactivă a Comisiei Europene faţă de impactul restructurărilor anticipate pentru industria automobilelor. Criza ne-a învăţat un lucru, ne-a reamintit un adevăr: că industria este extrem de importantă pentru soliditatea economiei europene, iar industria automobilelor este importantă pentru baza industrială europeană. Nu numai că creează locuri de muncă în ţările în care se asamblează automobile, dar creează locuri de muncă prin lanţul furnizorilor în toate statele membre. De exemplu, astăzi nicio maşină nu iese de pe o bandă în Germania fără să conţină, spre exemplu, piese produse în România.

Dar industria automobilelor se află într-o competiţie globală. Este o industrie globală, sub o competiţie globală puternică şi o politică europeană sau o politică naţională poate susţine sau poate omorî competitivitatea acestei industrii. Dacă ne uităm, nu există un stat membru în Uniunea Europeană care să semene cu alt stat membru în ceea ce priveşte regimul de taxe pentru poluare, taxe de înmatriculare a automobilelor şi aşa mai departe, iar aceste diferenţe constituie obstacole în dezvoltarea industriei europene a automobilelor, obstacole în piaţa unică. Oare nu putem face nimic pentru a armoniza cât de cât, pentru a elimina aceste diferenţe? În SUA, ca şi în alte ţări, guvernele au acordat ajutoare substanţiale industriei automobilelor, pentru a inova, pentru a trece la automobile cu emisii mai mici de dioxid de carbon. Trebuie să facem şi noi acelaşi lucru.

 
  
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  Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D). - Voorzitter, het moet ongeveer twee jaar geleden zijn dat we hier ook stonden te debatteren. Een van de aanleidingen was toen de sluiting van Opel in Antwerpen. Ik was toen kwaad en ongelofelijk verontwaardigd. Ten eerste kwaad, omdat zoveel mensen hun baan verliezen en dat heeft grote impact op hun gezinnen, maar ook erg kwaad omdat de Commissie op dat moment niet heeft ingegrepen.

Nu, een goede twee jaar later, is er eigenlijk niets veranderd. De Commissie grijpt nog altijd niet in en verschuilt zich een beetje achter een aantal competenties die ze al dan niet heeft. Commissaris, de Commissie kan veel dingen doen. Laat mij drie dingen zeggen, waar ik eigenlijk van verwacht dat de Commissie nu in actie komt.

Ten eerste: bij herstructureringen is het perfect mogelijk dat de Commissie ingrijpt, en op zijn minst met de multinationals gaat praten en er niet voor zorgt dat de verschillende ondernemingen en vestingen tegen elkaar worden opgezet. Ten tweede: laten we alsjeblieft nog inspanningen doen om ervoor te zorgen dat er ook in de toekomst nog industrie mogelijk is in Europa - want als we niet oppassen dan zal een aantal Amerikaanse multinationals gaandeweg wegtrekken en zich in de periferie van Europa vestigen. Ten derde, en daar worden de Ford-medewerkers in Genk echt razend van: hoe is het in godsnaam mogelijk dat wij middelen van de Europese Investeringsbank gebruiken om een bedrijf buiten de Europese Unie in Turkije te moderniseren, zodanig dat verdere delokalisatie mogelijk is.

Geachte commissaris, het wordt echt tijd dat u samen met uw collega's actief optreedt bij herstructureringen én bij het verder uittekenen van de toekomst van de industrie.

 
  
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  Frieda Brepoels (Verts/ALE). - Voorzitter, commissaris, de aankondiging van de sluiting van Ford Genk kun je wel degelijk een drama noemen voor mijn provincie Limburg, want niet minder dan 10.000 mensen zullen direct of indirect hun baan verliezen. In de gemeente waar ik vanaf januari burgemeester wordt, zijn meer dan 700 gezinnen getroffen.

Nu slaan de Vlaamse regering en het provinciebestuur van Limburg de handen in elkaar voor een toekomstplan. Dat is prima, maar de vraag is: waar zit Europa? Wat doet Europa voor die regio? Ik denk dat Europa niet zomaar kan toekijken. Met een pennenstreek verhuist een multinational inderdaad een volledige fabriek van de ene Europese regio naar de andere, terwijl die (enkele maanden geleden) belofte heeft gedaan, forse belofte heeft gedaan, op papier, voor de toekomst van die fabriek! Dat is blijkbaar allemaal niets meer waard.

U heeft een aantal concrete maatregelen genoemd, maar ik heb een vraag voor u over het Cohesiefonds. Limburg heeft als regio speciale hulp nodig, gezien de uitzonderlijke omstandigheden. En er zijn precedenten: bijvoorbeeld Beieren kreeg 75 miljoen euro aanvullend onder het huidige cohesieprogramma. Kan Limburg ook op iets dergelijks rekenen en zal de Commissie op korte termijn een signaal in die richting geven?

 
  
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  Peter Skinner (S&D). - Mr President, I have three points. First, the commercial decisions taken by companies at this time amid car industry woes across the European Union, across the world, may be something which car companies can put up with, but not the people working in them. We understand of course that there is overcapacity, maybe, but promises made are not promises to be broken easily either. I represent the area of Southampton Swaythling plant, which is the assembly for the Ford Transit Van which is now to be scrapped. This will have a major impact upon that community.

I also have to say that I join with my colleagues around the Chamber about the transfer of funds – EUR 100 million – for the Ford Otosan plant in Turkey. Perhaps we should ask some questions about this. After all, I know it is not public funds, but let us ask this question. There are certain people who have been involved in this, the Commission itself offers an opinion about whether or not these funds should be transferred and so do Member States. Are we that naïve that we do not believe that such a neighbourhood policy where we give funds to countries just outside the EU will not eventually lead to job transfers? Are we that silly that we do not actually wake up and realise this is going to occur? We really need to ask a question about what the remit of the EIB is in this particular issue and get down to talking about what they should and should not be allowed to do.

Finally, just looking at the sight across the way from me where there are empty benches where UKIP sit, who also represent my area, it tells me very well that wrapping yourself in your national flag does nothing to protect you against global crises either and it is a shame they cannot be here to join this debate.

 
  
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  Reinhard Bütikofer (Verts/ALE). - Mr President, I completely agree with what you said, Commissioner: the car industry is now in difficulties; we are experiencing a long-term structural problem. Overcapacity has been around for a while. But I want to stress this point: innovation imperatives not taken seriously and not pursued today are the job losses of tomorrow.

With that in mind, I really regret that the CARS 2020 communication that you mentioned, Commissioner, has been lowering the innovation ambition that the Commission has set. Two innovative projects still pursued two and a half years ago in 2010 are missing: the CO2 labelling for cars and the CO2 efficiency for heavy-duty vehicles. Why does the Commission not focus on its responsibility as an innovation agency instead of, if problems arise, playing the role of a corporate welfare agency?

 
  
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  Bernd Lange (S&D). - Herr Präsident! Herr Kommissar, ich denke, Sie sind zu defensiv, wenn Sie nur noch prüfen, wie man die Folgen von Werkschließungen und von Überkapazität beheben kann. Nein, ich glaube, wir müssen prüfen, wie man sinnvollerweise Unternehmenspolitik gestalten kann. Die Lehre ist erst einmal, dass wir andere Unternehmensverfassungen brauchen. Wir brauchen eine stärkere Teilhabe der Arbeitnehmerinnen und Arbeitnehmer an ihren Unternehmen, damit vernünftige Lösungen für die Zukunft von Unternehmen geschaffen werden können. Das ist eine der zentralen Lehren aus der Krise: Mehr Mitbestimmung in die Unternehmen, um vernünftige Lösungen zu finden.

Zweitens, Herr Kommissar, haben wir in der Tat fünfzehn Fabriken in der Europäischen Union, die um die 50 % Auslastung haben. Aber wenn ich mir den globalen Markt ansehe, Herr Kommissar, da wächst die Automobilproduktion von etwa 79 Millionen auf 84 Millionen. Da ist doch etwas im Argen! Es kann doch nicht sein, dass wir hier eine Deindustrialisierung betreiben und auf der anderen Seite wächst der globale Markt für Automobile um jährlich 3 %.

Nein, wir brauchen nicht nur eine Abwicklung von Automobilfabriken, wir brauchen Investitionen in Zukunftstechnologien, damit die Automobilindustrie in Europa bleibt und auf dem globalen Markt wettbewerbsfähig ist. Das heißt auch, dass man globale Konzerne in die Schranken weisen muss, weil sie eben auch globale Investitionsentscheidungen treffen und nicht unbedingt das europäische Interesse in den Vordergrund stellen. Also mehr aktives Handeln von der Europäischen Kommission!

 
  
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  Alejandro Cercas (S&D). - Señor Presidente, señor Comisario, yo celebro la Comunicación «CARS 2020». Por fin, tenemos algo de política industrial. Al menos ya se han encendido las luces rojas al verse el drama de lo que puede ocurrir con la industria automovilística y que hoy se pone sobre la mesa con los anuncios dramáticos del cierre de las fábricas de Ford en Europa.

Pero mañana van a seguir más, y lo que tenemos encima de la mesa es la conciencia clara de que nos faltan instrumentos europeos. Que no podemos responder a estas crisis país por país y enfrentando a unos países con otros, a unos trabajadores con otros. Que necesitamos un instrumento de verdad europeo, que anticipe, que prepare también el cambio tecnológico, la globalización y la crisis que estamos sufriendo.

Que no nos pase como nos ha pasado también con la industria financiera, que acudimos después con los remedios, pero no somos capaces de hacer políticas proactivas.

Yo, señor Comisario, veo que en la Comunicación por fin se empieza a hablar de anticipación. Ya sabe usted que ayer aprobamos, en la Comisión de Empleo, un informe de iniciativa legislativa para que haya un acto legislativo de la Comisión, un verdadero acto legislativo que cree unas directrices a nivel europeo, unos estándares europeos para gestionar de una manera responsable las reestructuraciones y el cambio, y que priorice la participación de los trabajadores, la información, la anticipación, la formación y la ayuda.

Sobre todo, señor Comisario, olvidémonos ya de esa historia de que esto es sólo una cuestión de las empresas. Sí es una cuestión de las empresas, pero también es una cuestión de los trabajadores, de las regiones, de los países y de Europa, que se está jugando su futuro, el futuro en el concierto de las naciones.

Por tanto, necesitamos más Europa, necesitamos más solidaridad, necesitamos más instrumentos y hacer frente a la situación, como han hecho los Estados Unidos, por ejemplo. Necesitamos defender realmente un sector que es un sector estratégico, en el que nos jugamos no solamente millones de puestos de trabajo, sino también el lugar de Europa en el mundo.

 
  
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  Frédéric Daerden (S&D). - Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, depuis 2008, dix-huit demandes de mobilisation du Fonds d'ajustement à la mondialisation étaient relatives à des restructurations dans le secteur automobile, pour un montant de plus d'un milliard, avec plus de 20 000 travailleurs concernés. Le secteur automobile représente donc une part non négligeable de ces mobilisations, et ce depuis plusieurs années. Il était donc temps que la Commission se propose d'agir pour ce secteur en difficulté.

La crise est-elle la seule cause des difficultés de l'automobile? De mauvais choix managériaux n'ont-ils pas été faits par certaines compagnies? N'aurait-on pas pu anticiper en réorientant plus tôt et en développant un avantage comparatif sur le marché?

L'anticipation des restructurations est, selon moi – et je rejoins Alejandro –, une nécessité. Pourquoi ne pas faire du Fonds d'ajustement à la mondialisation un outil européen d'anticipation des restructurations? Les États-Unis disposent d'un fonds doté de compétences larges et n'hésitent pas à s'en servir pour réorienter des secteurs.

J'ai tenté d'introduire cette notion d'anticipation dans le cadre de la révision du règlement, mais sans succès à ce jour. Cette nouvelle orientation du Fonds d'ajustement à la mondialisation pourrait, je pense, séduire les États membres et je m'interroge dès lors sur le soutien que la Commission pourrait apporter à une telle initiative pour la révision de ce Fonds.

 
  
 

Διαδικασία Catch-the-Eye

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE). - În momentul de faţă, toată industria europeană trece printr-o perioadă dificilă, iar perspectivele nu sunt deloc încurajatoare. Acest lucru este valabil cu atât mai mult în ceea ce priveşte industria auto. Competitivitatea în acest sector trebuie stimulată, iar planul de acţiune adoptat de Comisie în acest sens se concentrează tocmai pe inovare şi realizarea investiţiilor necesare în acest domeniu. Planul are în vedere atât problemele interne, cât şi pe cele externe, şi urmăreşte reglementarea şi relansarea sectorului. Condiţiile de piaţă trebuie îmbunătăţite şi industria auto trebuie sprijinită mai mult pe piaţa mondială.

În ceea ce priveşte ţara mea, România are capacitatea de a produce maşini la o tehnologie industrială de vârf, iar noile modele Dacia confirmă întocmai acest lucru. Rolul FEAG a devenit mai important în contextul crizei, oferind sprijin angajaţilor din sector.

 
  
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  Josefa Andrés Barea (S&D). - Señor Presidente, el 5,3 % de la población activa trabaja en el sector automovilístico. Las cifras hablan por sí solas.

El descenso de ventas en el mercado europeo, unido a la estrategia empresarial, lleva, en términos generales, a la externalización y la reestructuración de las empresas. Existe una crisis de sobrecapacidad que afecta, en la actualidad, a diez plantas de montaje y potencialmente a 100 000 trabajadores.

Desgraciadamente, son pocos los casos de reestructuración con una visión a largo plazo; generalmente prima una visión a corto plazo en la que el elemento principal es ganar competitividad a base de ajustes laborales.

Le tengo que decir que, el mismo día que Ford comunicaba el cierre de su planta de Genk, comunicaba a su empresa de Valencia que su producción iba a ser trasladada a Alemania, y lo hacía en el mismo comunicado empresarial.

Por lo tanto, creemos que es un problema general de Europa; creemos que es esencial la creación de un marco jurídico a nivel europeo que anticipe los cambios y subraye la importancia del diálogo social. Es fundamental el diálogo social.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI). - Herr Präsident! Vor einem bevorstehenden Paradigmenwechsel, den Europas Automobilhersteller nicht wahrhaben wollen, warnen Experten ja seit längerem. Nun steckt die Automobilindustrie, die mit über 700 Milliarden Euro Jahresumsatz einer der größten Industriezweige in der EU ist, tief in der Krise, wie wir wissen.

Während vor allem Massenhersteller wegen der Absatzeinbrüche zu kämpfen haben, verzeichnen Premiumhersteller sinkende Gewinnmargen. Klar ist, dass eine Beibehaltung der Produktionszahlen die Autoindustrie nur in einen Teufelskreis ruinöser Rabattschlachten zwingen würde.

Das Vorhaben der Kommission, Exporte europäischer Wagen zu erleichtern, klingt zwar auf dem Papier ganz gut; dass europäische Autohersteller im unteren Preissegment mit chinesischen Billigautos konkurrieren werden, darf allerdings bezweifelt werden. Dieses Vorhaben wird also bestenfalls Premiumherstellern helfen.

Eines ist klar: Eine Umstrukturierung, wie wir sie jüngst in den USA sahen, die zehntausende Arbeitsplätze vernichtete und Rentenansprüche annullierte, kann nicht erklärtes Ziel der Europäischen Union sein.

 
  
 

(Λήξη της διαδικασίας Catch-the-Eye)

 
  
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  László Andor, Member of the Commission. − Mr President, let me stress again that I consider the situation at the Ford factory in Genk to be extremely serious. That is why eight days ago I received a delegation of the trade unions of this company and discussed with representatives of the employees themselves what the Commission can do in this particular situation, particularly by using the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, but also in the broader context in cooperation with the authorities of Belgium, also using the European Social Fund if allocations are available.

But I also want to stress that similarly to many who have spoken in this debate, I consider the question of the industry to be extremely serious and very relevant. That is why, together with Mr Tajani, we have been working on a reinforced industrial policy for the European Union which sets out a very concrete numerical objective until 2020: to reverse the industrial decline of Europe, to increase the share of industry within the European economy to at least 20 % of the European GDP from its current level of 16%.

Of course this requires a very concerted effort. It also requires a sectoral view when necessary and when justified and clearly the automotive sector is one of those where we need a concrete sectoral focus and an action plan.

In fact the CARS 2020 Action Plan delivers. It delivers many requirements which you mentioned in this discussion. For example, in terms of innovation, it does not lower but actually increases the ambition. It also points to the possible financing tools by which the European Union can help the revival of this sector.

But, as Mr Harbour also pointed out, there is a need for a certain level of realism, a need to see what globalisation, global competition, cost-effectiveness means in this sector, what skills are needed in the future; and that is why the anticipation of change, the anticipation of structural development in cooperation with the social partners involved is so important in this area.

This is actually one of the key lessons of our consultation, on the basis of the Commission Green Paper, on restructuring which we conducted in the first half of this year; and on the basis of this consultation, which included a broader range of stakeholders and not only the social partners, we are very carefully considering the necessary steps forward.

In that of course we pay very close attention to the work of Mr Cercas as rapporteur and certainly we will consider his conclusions, which I believe are forthcoming in December in this Parliament, when we decide in the Commission on the necessary steps forward.

I certainly take note of many points made in this debate concerning the wish for a more robust, more interventionist industrial policy. I have to admit that what is there, a 2.0 industrial policy – it has been reinforced as compared to the original version in the Europe 2020 strategy, it does a lot more in terms of innovation, in terms of human capital, in terms of access to markets, access to finance – is certainly not exactly the same type of planned economy which I heard from some of the interventions. We definitely cannot establish a planned economy retroactively and give a capacity to the European Commission to come with concrete intervention potential to cases when some of these companies, multinationals, decide to relocate.

But I share your view when you say that these industrial policies should be better coordinated with the development of our financial institutions, including the European Investment Bank. Indeed, not only the Ford case but some other cases are controversial and we need to look into the decisions of the EIB and see, especially in the context of the capital increase which the Commission also has advocated in the case of the EIB; without, of course, interfering too much with the business plan of the EIB.

But I think this would be justified if there is an effort in Europe to increase the financial capacity of the EIB. There should also be a discussion of how the EIB could refocus its financing actually on the European Member States and coordinate these projects better with the need to revive European manufacturing and in particular to help the relatively weaker regions.

That also brings me to the questions of the MFF because several speakers, including the rapporteur, Miss Harkin, but also Mr Daerden, mentioned the Globalisation Adjustment Fund, which is indeed our key instrument for intervention in such cases. It is an ex post instrument, once restructuring has already been announced. But it is also an ex ante instrument because, through training, through various forms of education, promoting enterprise, it can actually prepare many workers involved for future economic or business activities.

That is a capacity, a merit, a potential in the EGF which I hope those in the European Council will appreciate later this week when they consider the social dimension of the MFF and the instruments that can support workers who are very often the victims of careless industrial decisions.

I think this has been an extremely important discussion. I would like to connect it to the morning’s discussion when we were together here with Vice-President Tajani to discuss the questions of industry and what the Commission can do for what the Vice-President calls an industrial revolution in the European Union, and I will certainly share with my colleagues the points and lessons of this debate, especially on the question of restructuring. I agree with many of you that we have a lot to do.

 
  
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  Πρόεδρος. - Η συζήτηση έληξε.

Γραπτές δηλώσεις (άρθρο 149)

 
  
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  Csanád Szegedi (NI), írásban. – Az autógyártás Európa gazdasága számára az utolsó ipari ágazatok egyike, amely képes jelentősebb munkaerőnek megélhetést biztosítani. Európának szakítania kell azzal a hibás gazdaságpolitikával, hogy kiengedjük gazdasági közösségünkből a termelést. Patrióta gazdasági struktúrára van szüksége az Európai Uniónak, amelyben az autóipar különösen nagy védelmet kap. A szerkezetátalakításra feltétlenül szükség van, hiszen a gazdasági válság hatására az európai társadalmaknak új kihívásokkal kell szembenézniük. Szeretném kiemelni, hogy ebből a szempontból Magyarország példaértékű, ahol a Mercedes vagy az Audi beruházásai folytán számtalan új munkahely keletkezett, amely mindenki számára hasznos infrastruktúrafejlesztésekkel is kiegészült. Elengedhetetlennek tartom, hogy a helyi kkv-k nagyobb szerepet kapjanak mint beszállítók.

 
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