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CO2, Safety, Innovation: The challenges for the automotive industry


16 Jun 2008


Climate & Environment

On 12 June 2008, on the occasion of the CLEPA General Assembly, hosted by RAI Vereniging, members had the opportunity to listen to and participate in an animated panel discussion, which drew on the expertise of key EU decision makers both in the European Parliament and the European Commission addressing: CO2, Safety, Innovation: The challenges for the automotive industry

The welcome address was given by Mr. Guiliano Zucco, CLEPA President and Mr. Lars Holmqvist, CLEPA CEO.

Mr. Malcolm Harbour, MEP acted as the moderator for the discussions. Mr. Harbour has been a well-known MEP since 1999; he was the European Parliamentary representative at the CARS 21 High Level Group and is the co-Chairman for the European Forum for the Automobile and Society.

Presentations were given by:
Mr. Philippe Jean, the Head of the Automotive Unit, European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry on: “The EU strategy on competitiveness, safety and environmental performances in the car sector”. Mr. Jean is a long-standing official of the Commission, having joined in 1983. In his current position he deals with issues of maintaining competitiveness in the automotive industry and is responsible for the legislative framework for type-approval of vehicles.

Mr. Juhani Jääskeläinen, Deputy Head of Unit, ICT for Transport, European Commission, DG Information Society on: “Meeting the challenges of Europe’s road transport with Intelligent Car Initiative”. Mr. Jääskeläinen’s current activities include the management and planning of Community research actions in Intelligent Transport Systems and the application of space technologies for transport. He plays a leading role in the eSafety initiative.

A lively debate followed where insights were given into the current legislative and technological advances being made to reach the Commission’s proposed environmental standards, safety measures and mobility needs. Setting goals for eco-innovation, technical leadership and high quality environmental protection to remain in Europe

The debate highlighted a number of issues, inter alia: difficulties of transposing EC law into 27 Member States and the need for the Commission to monitor and take action quickly, where necessary. Discussion regarding the Type Approval Directive and the benefit CLEPA can derive in raising its concerns. The opportunities suppliers may derive from retrofitting, complementary measures to reduce CO2 emissions, investment opportunities of cleaner vehicles to public authorities.

Lars Holmqvist informed the audience of a CLEPA initiative which has brought about the offer of €10 bn in funds from the European Investment Bank, solely directed to suppliers to realize their development projects.

The bringing together of key automotive decision makers with industrial automotive supply leaders sows the seeds for a conducive and constructive way forward to shape well-balanced policies for the benefit continued competitiveness in EU.

For more information, please contact Mrs. Amalia Di Stefano: Tel: +32 (0)2 743.91.35; e-mail:

CLEPA is the European umbrella membership organisation representing the interests of the global automotive supply industry. More than 70 of the world's most prominent suppliers for car parts, systems and modules and 20 National trade associations and European sectoral associations are members of CLEPA, representing more than 3,000 companies, employing more than three million people and covering all products and services within the automotive supply chain. Based in Brussels, Belgium, CLEPA is recognized as the natural discussion partner by the European Institutions, United Nations and fellow associations (ACEA, JAMA, MEMA, etc). For more information, visit


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