As mentioned by the President of the EU Commission, Ms Von der Leyen during her presentation, on May 27th, 2020, of the EU recovery plan, “Next Generation EU” is more than a help for Member States to recover from the COVID 19 crisis. It is a means to build up their long-term resilience capacity.
Part of this resilience will hopefully result from a successful European Green Deal and an ambitious Digital agenda including transparent rules of governance in terms of data sharing as well as a digital tax.
The success will also depend on the ability of the EU to strengthen its main industrial value chains, and to support Member States’ investments and reforms to relaunch economy, restore growth and create jobs.
The Solvency Support Instrument which aims at providing support companies in the most affected sectors, countries and regions and levelling-up the playing field for Member States who have been less able to support their companies with State aid throughout the crisis than others is a positive news for many corporations currently struggling to survive. However, it is important to make sure that the granting of State Aid to several companies will not compromise fair competition with the other actors who shall not receive public support.
The Mobility-Transport-Automotive ecosystem is and will be undergoing transformations. Business models are evolving. The role of competition authorities be it EU or national level will also be to make sure that State Aid that will be given for instance to some companies of the transport and logistics chain will not distort competition both horizontally and vertically. we need clear, transparent, and fair rules and a review of EU Competition rules.
As mentioned by the President of the Commission, we will overcome this crisis together and all the 14 ecosystems identified by the Commission will play their role. So while one can understand the “natural tendency” for some industries to claim or proclaim that they are more important than others and that they deserve more attention, the success of the recovery will certainly depend on how the different industries composing the above mentioned ecosystems will create value, not in solo or in silos, but collectively.
Many industries have been severely hit by the economic impact of the COVID 19 crisis and will need significant investments but the recovery will also require from the EU to adopt efficient instruments to ensure a real level playing field and a fair competition with other regions of the world.
Our strong belief is that the Mobility-Transport-Automotive ecosystem can be one of the engines of the recovery and contribute to the EU objectives in terms of sustainability, employment, long-term resilience capacity and reindustrialization. This can happen under the condition that the necessary investments are made and a constructive dialogue between EU policy makers and all the industries composing the ecosystem is established.
FEPORT members will certainly remain mobilized and will continue to contribute to the attractiveness of the European ports and look forward to a good cooperation with all EU institutions.