CECE lobbies Europe on € 200 billion stimulus plan

By Murray Pollok01 December 2008

CECE president Dr Tim Leverton.

CECE president Dr Tim Leverton.

The Committee for European Construction Equipment (CECE) is to meet European Commission vice president Günter Verheugen before Christmas to discuss the European Union's proposed € 200 billion economic stimulus plan.

CECE requested the meeting with Mr Verheugan - who is commissioner for enterprise and industry - to ensure that construction equipment does not lose out in the stimulus package.

CECE said it wanted to "emphasise the need for higher construction spending, a flexibility on emissions regulations and support for research and development investment to meet environmental standards."

The European Union (EU) plan, announced on 26 November, comprises short-term measures to boost demand and save jobs, and longer term "smart investments" to provide higher economic growth.

The EU said the emphasis for these longer term measures would be on investment in education and (re-)training as well as in infrastructure; "Investing in infrastructure and energy-efficiency keeps people in the construction industry in work, saves energy and improves efficiency."

Around € 170 billion would come from national budgets with the remaining € 30 billion sourced from EU and European Investment Bank budgets.

Commission president José Manuel Barroso said; "Exceptional times call for exceptional measures. The jobs and well-being of our citizens are at stake. Europe needs to extend to the real economy its unprecedented coordination over financial markets. This Recovery Plan is big and bold, yet strategic and sustainable."

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