European auto industry calls legislators to action over manufacturing policy

The European Automotive Manufacturer’s Association (ACEA) has urged EU policy makers to act on Europe’s struggling automotive industry.While the UK reflects on a successful 2013 for manufacturing growth – car production grew by 3.1% and is set to reach record levels by 2017 – the situation is bleaker in other parts of Europe.ACEA set out a series of recommendations for the short-term, based on the European Commission’s CARS 2020 Action Plan:To drive innovation, by creating a pro-innovation, technology-neutral regulatory environment.To foster growth through international trade, by ensuring there are mutually-anticipated benefits and a clear ‘level playing-field’ when negotiating free trade agreements.To build a supportive regulatory framework by reducing the regulatory burden and cost of doing business in Europe.To anticipate and manage change, including mitigating the social and economic impact of restructuring, and improving labour flexibility.Philippe Varin, ACEA President and CEO of PSA Peugeot Citroen, said, “As manufacturers, we are ready to go on playing our part to make the shift into a higher gear.“However, the industry also needs supportive policy measures to create the right conditions for re-building competitiveness.”Erik Jonnaert, ACEA’s Secretary General, said, “We welcome the fact that a number of our priorities are already echoed in the Commission’s Communication, ‘For a European Industrial Renaissance’, published last week. We strongly hope that they will also steer discussions on concrete actions for the automobile industry at the European Council on industrial competitiveness in March.”ACEA has also released its 2013 new vehicle registration figures for Europe, which show a 1.4% decline over 2012 – a much smaller drop than in 2012 (8.9%). In fact, with demand actually increasing through the latter months of 2013, the European car market appears to be in the very early stages of recovery. ACEA expects the market to grow 2% in 2014.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

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Brock students reaching out to neighbours

Brock University students living off-campus will be hitting the streets to meet their new neighbours Wednesday.The annual welcome wagon is a chance for students to introduce themselves and for the University and community stakeholders to provide information and resources.Curtis Gadula, Brock’s Off-Campus Living and Neighbourhood Relations Manager, said thousands of students live in St. Catharines and Thorold throughout the school year and it’s important that they are not only good neighbours but also connected members of the community.Students are encouraged to be a positive reflection of Brock in small ways such as saying hi, driving safely and being considerate to their neighbours.“No. 1 is to be respectful,” Gadula said. “Students are reminded to be aware of their noise level and take care of their property. We want them to get used to acting like adults.”He said nearly 2,500 students live in campus residences and the rest – nearly 16,000 – live in and around Niagara.Students are also encouraged to become actively involved in the community and “generally be contributing citizens and give back,” Gadula said.St. Catharines city councillor Joe Kushner, who represents St. Andrew’s Ward, said students add youth and vitality to the community.“Brock students living in the community have certainly been an enrichment,” he said.Kushner said the University’s commitment to working with the city, landlords and neighbours has greatly improved the off-campus experience for residents who share the community with students.A crew of students, city councillors, city employees, police and University staff will be out in the community Wednesday evening to say hello and hand out welcome bags filled with information and resources. read more

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