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The European car industry employs 2.5 million workers. Together they account for 8% of total value added in industry. Indirectly the sector provides employment for 12 million workers. European exports of cars are twice as big as imports, resulting in a large trade surplus. European assembly plants produce one out of three cars worldwide. The sector is highly innovative as it accounts for 20% of industrial research funding in Europe.
The success of the new Industrial Strategy will depend on the way it is implemented. Business organisations are calling for a broad, horizontal approach to industrial policy – these are some of the conclusions of the seminar on Industrial Policy that took place on 18 December in Brussels. The participants of the discussion presented their views on a recent proposal by the European Commission on industrial policy.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) backs the Commission's proposals on CO2 emissions from passenger cars and commercial vehicles as a balanced compromise between the objectives of climate-neutral mobility, the innovation capacity of the European automotive industry and preserving quality jobs. However, the EESC draws attention to potential challenges to employment, which depends on the pace of the structural transition in the automotive industry.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) urges the Commission to be more rigorous in facilitating consumers' access to new, cleaner and affordable forms of mobility, and to introduce stronger financial support for public transport. The opinion on "Achieving low emission targets", which was adopted during last week's plenary session, discussed the Commission's proposal on how to effectively reduce gas emissions produced by road transport.