For MEP Karima Delli, it is not surprising that the United States has adopted a protectionist policy favoring “made in the USA”. According to her, Europe should take inspiration from it.
If you follow us regularly, you probably know that we recently spoke with MEP Karima Delli, member of the Green Party and chair of the Transport and Tourism Committee, to discuss the vote of February 14th. Vote could not be more decisive at the end of which the members of the European Parliament massively adopted the ban on the sale of new thermal vehicles in Europe in 2035. The only subject which is still debated at present is that of synthetic fuels. Our neighbors across the Rhine want a door to be opened to them.
Nevertheless, even if Germany has turned around since mid-February, to everyone’s great surprise, the transition seems to be underway, almost inevitable. Manufacturers have already embarked on the race for electrification, it seems difficult to go back now. In other words, we will have to support manufacturers and Europeans so that electrification goes smoothly. And according to the MEP mentioned above, this must go through a “Buy European Act”, a text protecting the European automotive industry and promoting it, to the detriment of others. In response to a question about the reaction of opponents to the thermal ban in 2035, it is this issue that Karima Delli wanted to highlight.
« NWe must ensure that the car of tomorrow in Europe is zero emissions, much more ‘made in Europe’ and accessible to as many people as possible”
The main European political formation (the EPP) defended a 90% reduction in CO2 emissions. According to them, the figure of 100% is too high and risks destabilizing the sector. What do you think ?
“I think the EPP is not at all aware of what is happening in the car industry. She is ready. She asks for a schedule and to go quickly. Because the world of competition in terms of what’s happening in the automotive industry is incredible. I think the EPP plays into the hands of China, the Chinese car, the Chinese electric car. The longer we wait, the more Chinese cars will take up space in Europe.
I say it, the EPP, they did not listen to the car industry. you look at all the major parts of the car manufacturers, they were just supporting 100% zero emissions in 2035. And so we can’t support an industry measure that basically says “we’re entering the transition” and, in parallel, say “we have a few years to wait” when the competition will be there. I ask them for a little consistency in the EPP.
The competition will do us no favors. This is why we have an incredible window of opportunity today to ensure that tomorrow Europe is at the forefront of this new industry. And that’s where I think the calendar is good. And this is where we must ensure that the car of tomorrow in Europe is zero emissions, it is much more ‘made in Europe’ and that it is accessible to as many people as possible. And that requires a schedule and support from the industry. »
“We absolutely have to re-lo-ca-li-se the necessary productions”
It is very interesting that you refer to China since the Czech Communist MP Katerina Konecna was critical of this agreement on the pretext that it should make Europe “dependent on the components of battery from China and Africa”…
“On the question of raw materials for the electric car, it is true that we absolutely have to re-lo-ca-li-se the necessary production. It’s really about developing alternatives to lithium-ion to use materials that we have. We have to think about stage two where, there, it is the whole industrial policy of circular economy. And that is a really big topic.
And then, it is absolutely necessary to promote at the same time the fact of saying that everything must be in an industrial policy of relocation in Europe. Because often, I am told an incredible thing, I am told that it will kill the automobile industry. I remind you all the same that the ecological transition has not killed the automobile. If in France, we have lost 100,000 jobs in the automotive sector, it is not the transition. No, it’s because we abused and used social ‘dumping’.
One of the issues that I don’t think we talk about enough is infrastructure. Because there will be no electric cars without infrastructure. And I remind you that the electric car is not the real solution to all mobility problems. It is one solution among many others. »
“In the United States and China, we have governments that protect their industry, Europe must not be naive about that”
In general, you seem to have a very critical position vis-à-vis China. The CEO of Stellantis Group, Carlos Tavares, spoke about this some time ago. Do you agree with him that aggressive Chinese prices are a problem for the European automotive industry?
“Above all, I believe that we must have a real reflection on a ‘Buy European Act’ in progress to protect our industry and to encourage the relocation of strategic activities in the automotive industry. The United States confirms its approach in favor of ‘made in the USA’. And the reverse would be completely incomprehensible. Even for us, this raises the question of an overhaul of our free trade treaties. It is all the same quite incredible that they do not respect the game. We too are not going to respect the game of reciprocity. In the United States and China, we have governments that protect their industry, Europe must not be naive about that. »
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