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Local leaders mobilized to ensure a sustainable and just transition of regions with a strong automotive industry  

​​​​Members of the Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and EU Budget (COTER) adopted a draft opinion on the zero emission road transport policy and the deployment of alternative fuel infrastructure for all cities and regions in the EU. During their meeting on 10 December, local and regional leaders also debated on the conclusion of the European Year of Rail 2021 and the relations with the United Kingdom.

During the meeting, members of the COTER commission of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) discussed a just and sustainable transition of regions with a strong automotive industry and underlined the importance of a European mechanism supporting it. A European framework to address the challenges of this transition needs adequate resources, policy support and exchange and transition planning. With the possibility of being financed by existing European funds, local leaders called on EU institutions and national governments to make sure that regions most affected by the transition will be able to adapt to the changes in the automobile value chain.

The rapporteur Adrian Teban (RO/EPP), Mayor of Cugir, declared: " The need for transition of automotive industry and the overall objective to reduce CO2 emissions in the transport sector should not be questioned. Phasing-out of combustion engine cars will influence the automotive industry, which will undergo a fundamental cross-cutting transformation process. It will have an impact on the production process of the car companies but also the automotive suppliers. The workforce as well as the energy and clean energy production will be affected through this process given the need for re-skilling in the light of the "green and digital" transition and all regions with a link to the automotive industry will therefore be influenced by the just transition."

The opinion is scheduled for adoption by the CoR's Plenary during the 26-28 January session.

The COTER commission meeting provided the opportunity for members to discuss with the European Commission and industry representation and to emphasize the need for various ranges of technical solutions to guarantee technological neutrality in the transition towards zero-emission vehicles. They highlighted the importance of a technological competition in drive-train technology and the need for an appropriate and suitable infrastructure to deploy alternative fuels in particular in rural and remote areas.

The territorial impacts that the proposed phasing out of the internal combustion engine in cars and vans will have on regions heavily dependent on car industry are also discussed in close cooperation with the CoR's interregional group on "the future of the automotive industry" (CoRAI). The platform brings together more than 30 political leaders from automotive regions in order to promote cooperation between local and regional authorities. The list of members is available here.

During the meeting, members of COTER also debated on the relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom after Brexit, and how to strengthen this connection at subnational level. Moreover, local and regional leaders took stock of the conclusion of the European Year of Rail 2021 together with the CoR's rapporteur of the opinion on this topic, Jarosław Stawiarski (PL/ECR), President of the Lubelskie Region, and the European Commission.

In addition, the COTER commission appointed its chair Nathalie Sarrabezolles (FR/PES), as a rapporteur on the upcoming "8th cohesion report on economic social and territorial cohesion", Mirja Vehkapera (FI/RE) as rapporteur on the opinion "Artic: a stronger EU engagement for a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous Arctic" and recommended Kieran McCarthy (IE/EA) as a rapporteur on "Small urban areas as key actors to manage a just transition".


Contact:
Theresa Sostmann
Tel. +32 2282 2457
theresa.sostmann@cor.europa.eu

Matteo Miglietta
Tel. +32 (0)470 895 382
matteo.miglietta@cor.europa.eu

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