9 May 2019, 09:14
Over the last years there has been an increasing feeling that the construction equipment (CE) sector was not given due consideration by the EU authorities, although its importance for the EU economy has been widely acknowledged. To bring the sector closer to the EU institutions CECE put in place an ambitious advocacy strategy aimed at making the most of this politically crucial year of European elections and institutional changes.
At the beginning of this year CECE launched its own political Manifesto built on the request for a new and more ambitious industrial strategy. In April, CECE made possible the visit of prominent representatives from the EU institutions to bauma, the biggest fair of the construction equipment sector, to have an understanding of the CE machines and their latest innovation. This was also a chance for the Brussels representatives to listen to the sector's concerns and challenges at European and global level. Among the EU representatives, it is worth mentioning the visit of Mr Jan Zahradil, current member of the European Parliament, Vice-Chair of the Committee on International Trade and Spitzenkandidat of the ECR/ACRE Group in the European elections.
However, the most ambitious initiative is going further than that. Since February CECE has been arranging visits of candidate MEPs to the manufacturing sites of CECE member companies. As a matter of fact, a visit to the production site with the company management provides an accurate and deep understanding of our sector. From a broader perspective, an insight of the construction equipment sector is an insight of the European manufacturing industry which is facing an unprecedented challenge in terms of technological breakthrough and global competition. With our visits, policy makers can narrow the gap between politics and business and become aware of the strengths and challenges of the whole European manufacturing industry.
Our methodology consisted in analysing the electoral lists and geographically matching the constituency of the candidates with the location of the plants. Once the candidates have been mapped, we sent out invitations to the candidates of the whole political spectrum with an European perspective. Other factors, such as interest and experience with industry files, were taken into account.
We are proud to say that our initiative has been successful. In spite of the short notice a few months before the elections, our initiative attracted interest from the candidate MEPs. Six visits from six candidate MEPs have been arranged until the elections which will take place between 23-26 May.
On 18th April Mr Körner (FDP) visited the manufacturing site of Komatsu Mining in Dusseldorf, where the company manufactures the big mining shovels.
On 25th April Mr Neuser (SPD) and Mr Scheuren (FDP) visited both Wirtgen, the road-building company headquartered in Windhagen.
On 29th April Ms De Monte (PD) visited Komatsu Italia Manufacturing where the smaller excavators, skid loaders and backhoe loaders are produced and met CECE President Enrico Prandini.
On 30th April Mr Lange, Chair of the INTA Committee, visited the German production site of Volvo CE. Later this month he will visit Komatsu Germany in Hannover.
On 13th May Ms Sander (Les Republicains) will visit Liebherr manufacturing site in Colmar.
These visits occupy our calendar until the elections. However, our program will not stop in May. We are happy to confirm that it will continue after the elections when the agenda of the newly elected MEPs will have more availability. As an anticipation, we received interest from candidates in other countries such as the Netherlands, Czechia and Sweden.
To keep track of the next visits as well as other initiatives throughout this crucial year, we recommend that you follow #CECEep2019 on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Source: CECE - Committee for European Construction Equipment