Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

Automotive industry is important to the EU, so what?

Adelina Marini, May 28, 2009

By the end of the year a roadmap of planned legislative and non-legislative initiatives that would have a significant impact on the industry should be presented. This is what the EU economy ministers have decided at today's Competitiveness Council in Brussels. In their conclusions the ministers point out that automotive industry is very important for European economy because it represents a large share of GDP of member states and in the same time contributes to EU exports to global markets. The industry is important also for employment and its relation to other sectors of the economy.

That is why the Council calls for additional legislative burden to be avoided because of the current economic situation.

In fact, with today's decision the Council transferred to the Commission the responsibility to find a quick answer to the needs of the members that produce cars in the Eu, such as France and Germany. But we cannot expect any development on the issue until the Autumn because a new Commission will be formed this summer and August, as a tradition, is the vacation month for European institutions.

The conclusions of the Council come at a time when the negotiations for GM's European production broke down in Berlin after all night talks. The reason for the failure is that German government has not received enough information from GM about the real situation at OPEL and the company as a whole. At the moment the only candidates to buy the European production lines of OPEL are Fiat and Magna, a Canadian firm, after Ripplewood Holdings has withdrawn from the process.