Kickstart the EU out of the corona crisis

    Berlin, June 18, 2020

    VDA presents 12-point plan for post-crisis economic growth in the EU – Determined and coordinated approach necessary from the Member States – Tackle investment for the future

    As the European heads of state and government negotiate the EU’s recovery plan on June 18 and 19, the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) has presented a 12-point plan for economic growth in the EU after the crisis. “The EU now needs to be ‘kickstarted’ out of the corona crisis,” says VDA President Hildegard Müller. “That will only work if all the Member States adopt a determined and coordinated approach. We want our 12-point plan to contribute to the discussion.”

    Important impetus should be provided for future-relevant topics, according to Hildegard Müller, who adds: “To achieve a major advance in electric mobility across Europe, the 1 million charging points proposed in the recovery plan can only be the beginning and a lot more will be required as we move forward. Furthermore, it is necessary to invest more in the infrastructure for filling up on hydrogen and the ramp-up of e-fuels. Today we have to pave the way for the key technologies of the future.”

    There is also a backlog of work to catch up on concerning the digitization of transport, the VDA president underscores. “The success of broadband expansion varies widely from one Member State to another and the process frequently hits boundaries within the EU. It is right for the EU to want to invest more money in this area. The important thing now is to ensure rapid and comprehensive implementation.”

    Hildegard Müller also calls for a more active trade policy at EU level. “The success of the automotive industry is based on having the same trading conditions and fair market access for all players. We welcome the fact that the EU’s response to the increasingly protectionist tendencies around the world comprises the defense and ongoing development of the proven world trade order. Only a united EU capable of taking action can play a strong role among the major powers.”

    The VDA president stresses, “Economic recovery in Europe will depend in particular on the densely networked European automotive industry picking up speed again. European instruments that encourage fleet renewal can help, especially in the case of commercial vehicles, trailers and bodies. Here the German Government should also take action to deliver on its promise in the economic stimulus package to work at European level toward a fleet renewal program for heavy commercial vehicles. In this way, immediately jobs can be secured and a key contribution made to effective and swift climate protection. This also applies to the European support for the necessary fleet replacement in the public sector.”

    Hildegard Müller says that swift action is important for small and medium-sized companies in the vehicle business in particular. “The Member States must implement the EU budget and the recovery plan quickly. If the engine driving the EU economy does not start up again soon, more and more companies will have cash-flow problems and money will not be available for important future investments.”

    Moreover, the VDA president says, it is essential that competition between the Member States must not be distorted during implementation of the measures. “The funding for the recovery plan should be used in all Member States and targeted on those areas where the ecological transition needs the most support.” The ramp-up of vehicles with alternative powertrains is facing special hurdles especially in low-income Member States. “At the same time, measures are required to ensure a level playing field for competition within the single market,” says Hildegard Müller.

    The VDA’s complete 12-point plan for post-crisis economic growth in Europe can be downloaded here.