Joint NGO reply to consultation on the Automotive Framework of the Next 10 Years

April 21, 2005

The automotive industry is important to Europe in many respects: the sector employs millions and is important in terms of the EU’ trade balance. Its products bring important benefits to hundreds of millions of Europeans.

The challenge of CARS 21 is to propose solutions that enable the sector to move forward more quickly. Based on the initiative of the car industry, Commissioner Verheugen set up the high-level group CARS 21. Key stakeholders2 in the automotive sector should review the policy framework for the next 10 years and help to restore sustainable dynamic growth and jobs, in accordance with the Lisbon strategy. But already the nomination of the members has shown that the interpretation of competitiveness is heavily biased towards creating cost advantages for the car industry. But competitiveness of a knowledge-based economy cannot be boosted, if the car industry leans backward and is happy about their new lobbying instrument. Modernisation in a democratic society starts with a self-confronting and integrates all stakeholders equally. On this background we would like to submit the following comments to the consultation on the automotive regulatory framework. They fall into three categories: views on competitiveness, going lean and going clean.

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