Hildegard Müller: Deliver concrete support now
European Council agrees recovery plan
“We welcome the agreement by the Council of the European Union on an extensive plan to help rebuild the economy after the corona pandemic. Despite the difficult discussions, this has sent out an important signal indicating that the EU is able to take action and to reach an agreement. In these difficult times the EU leaders’ launch of a far-reaching stimulus package is good news for the economies of all 27 EU Member States, for companies and above all for the people in Europe.
“The EU Council has passed a package worth 750 billion euros – of which 390 billion euros will be disbursed as grants and 360 billion euros as loans. This represents a compromise with the same volume as the original proposal. So the Council presidency has been able to establish an important financial framework.
“In the VDA’s view, it is now crucial to initiate specific measures as fast as possible. Many companies in Europe urgently need supporting impulses because they cannot weather the crisis unless the economy picks up soon and specific, targeted measures are taken to bolster the restart. If it is next year before the funding begins to flow and the support begins to arrive where it is needed, that could be too late for many firms given that their liquidity situation is often tight.
“This crisis is affecting the economy with full force, and is attacking in particular our core industrial sectors and thus the basis of our prosperity, growth and employment in Europe. This industrial core has to be strengthened in order to maintain Europe’s global competitiveness.
“Moreover, we need swift and comprehensive invigoration of the economy in order to boost demand and provide a perspective for companies and their employees. The Commission, the Council and the Parliament should therefore utilize all options for maximum acceleration of the approval and disbursement of the financial aid. Demand in particular must be stimulated. The German Government should now also work urgently in Brussels to deliver on its promise of a European fleet renewal program for commercial vehicles.”