This is one of the highest level European meetings that has brought regions and cities from seven EU states together with members of the European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions to the Navarra Arena pavilion in Pamplona. Thus, in addition to the six Spanish regions that have acted as hosts (Navarre, Aragon, Catalonia, Galicia and the Basque Country), the conference was attended directly by representatives from Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, France, Italy, Poland and Romania.
The conference began with a speech by the President of the Alliance and Minister for Regional Development of Saxony, Thomas Schimdt, who explained the work carried out in the last year and presented the organisation’s new logo. This was followed by the President of Navarre, María Chivite, who stressed the need for this type of forum. In this way, she pointed out that “public-private collaboration can help the European automotive industry to complete a fair, balanced and successful transition that will keep it as a key player in this sector worldwide”.
Chivite also pointed out that the automotive industry accounts for 25% of the region’s industrial GDP, 120 companies and more than 13,000 jobs. In this context, she highlighted some of the projects promoted by the regional government for the electrification of the VW Navarra plant and the Industry Plan, among others. “We have to be brave, bold and use all the resources at our disposal to promote a green, productive and competitive future for our industry”, he added.
The session included a “Navarra Declaration” which includes an agreement for a transition to electric vehicles that guarantees a cohesive evolution of all the regions involved. A protocol establishing a “pragmatic and sustainable continued cooperation” between the European Committee of the Regions’ Interregional Group on the Future of the Automotive Sector (CoRAI); the Alliance of Automotive Regions; and the private sector, represented by the Automotive Skills Alliance, was also signed.