EU Industry and Economy Ministers met on 5 and 6 March 2009 in Brussels for a Competitiveness Council. They were called upon to exchange views and adopt conclusions on the Follow-up to the Single Market Review. They also conducted a policy debate on the Lisbon Strategy leading to adoption of a Key Issues Paper, which will be forwarded to the Spring European Council. The Council also took note of a Presidency progress report on the Better Regulation initiative. Another key point of the agenda was an assessment of the impact of the current economic situation on competitiveness and more specifically the situation of the automotive industry.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the Council building
||Arrival of Martin Ríman, Czech Minister for Industry and Trade and President in office of the Council
||Arrival of Matej Lahovnic, Slovenian Minister for Economy
||Arrival of Jeannot Krecké, Minister for Economy and Foreign Trade of Luxembourg
||Arrival of Günter Verheugen, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Enterprise and Industry
||SOUNDBITE by Günter Verheugen (in GERMAN): it is true that overcapacity doesn't end if one company stops; all the companies should diminish their production, as a result of the crisis; but politicians must respect the decisions taken by the industry; those decisions should be structural ones, because this would allow companies to become stronger; but it is not by saying where a company should be that the problem will be solved.
||SOUNDBITE by Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, German Federal Minister for Economy, (in GERMAN): it seems very rare to me that General Motors is waiting for the subvention to make a plan, when I think it should go the other way.
||Round table: Martin Ríman (2 shots)
||Günter Verheugen (3 shots)
||Adriean Videanu, Romanian Minister for Economy
||Nina Radeva, Bulgarian Deputy Minister for the Economy and Energy
||Presidency, with Martin Ríman
||Günter Verheugen talking with Ian Pearson, British Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (3 shots)
||Maltese delegation including Jason Azzopardi, Maltese Parliamentary Secretary for Revenues and Land (2 shots)
||Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (2 shots)