Defend Europe! VDMA: Single Market and the Euro must not be put at risk
Frankfurt/Brussels, 7 February 2017 - The mechanical engineering industry is calling on economic players and policy-makers to pull together to keep the EU strong. “Turning back would have catastrophic consequences for everyone in Europe,” said Thilo Brodtmann, Executive Director of VDMA, against the background of the International Industry Conference in Berlin. “In an age of Brexit, populism and growing nationalism, we need to defend Europe. Europe offers its citizens a safe future and a home market of more than 500 million people for its companies. The European Single Market, the euro and a common trading policy are the business foundation of the European economy. Anyone putting this at risk will also be jeopardising the well-being of Europe’s population.”
The European Union is by far the largest export market for the mechanical engineering industry. Between January and November 2016, German mechanical engineers exported goods worth EUR 66.8 billion to other EU member countries, representing 47% of all the exports from this sector. VDMA views the current existential crisis facing the EU with concern. “A break-up of the EU would push its member countries well down the table in international competition,” warned Brodtmann. “No single country in Europe is large enough to compete successfully on its own with the likes of China or the USA."
“Europe needs to wake up and act in concert to promote its interests,” said Brodtmann. VDMA believes that reform is necessary to make the EU more transparent and more efficient. “The division of responsibilities between Brussels and the member states has to be more clearly defined,” said Brodtmann. “But if the EU has a task, it must be to act on its own account, even if not all the member states are in full agreement.”