For the eighth time in the history of the EU, citizens went to the polls in June to choose their representatives in the European Parliament. Coming out of recess, Erik Jonnaert, Secretary General of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), now addressed the newly elected Parliament in a personal message.
“The world has profoundly changed since the outgoing Commission came to Brussels in 2009,” he said. “The financial and debt crises that rocked the EU’s economy also took a large bite out of sales of motor vehicles on the continent.
“GDP and motor vehicle sales are closely linked, so the automotive industry is strongly supportive of the necessary reforms to keep EU industry competitive in a changing world.”
Representing an industry that invests €32 billion annually in R&D called on the Parliament to give transport operators access to cleaner, safer and more connected vehicles and open up to global trade.
“The world vehicle market is on the rise, so open trade is crucial for the further growth of the EU automotive industry. To maximise on this, we must have a trade policy that is balanced, providing real opportunities for export,” he said.
Jonnaert also asked for support on a regulatory level. “With a regulatory framework consisting of around 80 EU Directives and over 70 international UN Regulations, the automotive industry is one of the most regulated sectors in Europe,” he said.
“While the industry is committed to actively promoting sustainable mobility, strong support by policy makers through a balanced regulatory framework is needed to maintain its leading position in the global marketplace.
“Europe’s policy makers and industry leaders have to continue to work hand in hand to build the necessary conditions for stronger growth, more jobs and greater investment.”