Europe's competitiveness determines the success of our economic and prosperity model

    Berlin, May 08, 2022

    Understanding the EU as an economic community and community of values – more commitment to more free trade and globalization necessary – Germany must play a greater role in shaping the ecological and digital transformation in Brussels

    On today's Europe Day we commemorate the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration in 1950 and thus the starting point for the European Union. The European Union is a successful and unprecedented peace and prosperity project.

    Today, the following applies: “Never before has the European community of values and its foundation been that challenged as it is today. The war in our immediate neighborhood reminds us all to resolutely defend the European spirit. Europe is the promise of democracy, freedom, peace and prosperity. It is now all the more necessary for Europe to reflect on its strengths, set its goals clearly and make the necessary decisions so that the European success story can continue,” explains VDA President Hildegard Müller.

    The European peace project is also based on the idea of making the world safer through cooperation, a reconciliation of interests and partnerships. The EU has thus become the largest internal market in the world, ensuring security and prosperity for more than 445 million people.

    “The German automotive industry is fully committed to the EU peace and prosperity project. Putin's breach of international law and his war against Ukraine challenges us all. Our community of values, but also our economic and prosperity model, need all of our commitment and must be adapted to the changed geopolitical framework. We need Europe more than ever before,” said Müller.

    Develop globalization together

    “The EU must work for more free trade and globalization in the world for the benefit of all – protectionism is the wrong way. It is also the task of business and politics to show why globalization and open markets will continue to be indispensable in the future. The comprehensive ratification of CETA would therefore be the right sign now. In order to leverage the opportunities of this model, it is now crucial to focus on diversification, efficiency, and resilience," Müller continued.

    With the new geopolitical situation and the ongoing consequences of the corona pandemic, the European industrial location is in danger: “Our prosperity and our economic growth depend on the industrial jobs in Europe. The German automotive industry makes a significant contribution to value creation and jobs throughout Europe.

    The task now is to secure sufficient renewable energy through energy partnerships – and to ensure a correspondingly secure supply over the long term with an active foreign policy concerning raw materials. Only then can European industry develop technologies for climate protection that we can then export worldwide. That means: A sustainable and strategic European industrial policy secures jobs and prosperity in Europe and contributes to a global solution to the climate crisis,” the VDA President made clear.

    A large number of important decisions for climate, economy and industry are negotiated and made in Europe. “The framework for the ecological and digital transformation is set in Brussels. This must be reflected even stronger in the German government's European policy. Our government must work with maximum commitment for further development of the EU and take more leadership to do so.”

    Press Office

    Simon Schütz

    Head & Spokesperson with focus on politics and society