Coalition calls for urgent ‘Just transition’ framework for Europe’s automotive workforce

In view of the upcoming publication of the ‘Fit for 55’ package next week—which will set out the regulatory framework to implement the EU’s Green Deal, Climate Law and increased 2030 targets—a coalition of industry, trade unions, employers and environmental organisations, including CLEPA, has sent a letter to Vice-President Timmermans calling for an urgent Just Transition framework for the automotive workforce.

The organisations warn that the absence of the right policy framework delivering a Just Transition for all the industries covered by the Green Deal could cause deindustrialisation and social disruption. The letter points out that this framework must support the anticipation and management of change, including, but not exclusively, skills and training, and be underpinned by strong social dialogue.

Currently, there is no such framework for the 16 million workers in the EU’s mobility eco-system, and notably Europe’s automotive sector which is a powerhouse of industrial employment. The auto sector accounts for more than 6% of European employment overall and 8.5% of European manufacturing jobs. Pre-crisis, the sector produced nearly 10% of GDP in Germany alone, along with 40% of the country’s research and development spend. The sector plays a key role in trade, with Europe responsible for more than 50% of the world’s exports of auto products.

“Policy choices hold the key to prevent avoidable upheaval. The European Union needs rapid electrification with clean batteries, in combination with sustainable combustion engine solutions with renewable fuels. A technology-open approach will reduce emissions quicker and support European jobs”, says CLEPA’s Secretary General Sigrid de Vries. With the aim to provide insight into the impact of the green transition on the automotive workforce, CLEPA has launched the Automotive Employment Footprint Portal.


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