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Unity does not mean unanimity


10 May 2022



Frankfurt, 9 May 2022 – The "Conference on the Future of Europe" produced 49 proposals, which will be handed over to the presidents of the EU institutions on Europe Day today. Thilo Brodtmann, Managing Director of VDMA, comments:

"The results of the conference on the future of Europe show how important cross-border European dialog with EU citizens is. This process is an important first step towards creating more European public debate and eliminating institutional deficits in the EU. As a European association, VDMA particularly supports the recommendation to completely abandon the unanimity principle. An ambitious and strategic EU policy must not be repeatedly blocked by the lowest common denominator. Particularly in trade policy, which is so important for the machinery and plant engineering industry, the principle of unanimity has proven to be unsuitable. But in other political areas, too, the EU will only be able to act if majority decisions are introduced across the board.

"In terms of content, we admittedly do not agree with all 300 measures. Some of the proposals are too detailed and others also go in the wrong direction - such as those on the role of trade agreements for sustainability. But the recommendations address the right issues and we support many ideas. This is especially true of the demands for deepening the single market and strengthening the competitiveness of EU companies." The VDMA calls on the EU institutions to continue this process and, above all, to quickly address the issues of decision-making and subsidiarity. Particularly against the backdrop of new global challenges, the EU must become more capable of action and at the same time get closer to the people and companies again.

A photo of Thilo Brodtmann can be found here

The VDMA represents more than 3,400 German and European companies of the mechanical engineering industry. The industry stands for innovation, export orientation and medium-sized businesses. The companies employ around four million people in Europe, more than one million of them in Germany. Mechanical and plant engineering represents a European turnover volume of around 800 billion euros. With a net value added of around 270 billion euros, it contributes the highest share of the entire manufacturing sector to the European gross domestic product.