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Speech in the plenary on the Future of European aircraft construction

– Mr Speaker, we are discussing two issues here tonight, and they should not be mixed together. One is the problem of unemployment, which should be dealt with by Member States with the necessary support from the Union and the different social funds – as was pointed out earlier by the Commissioner – but not by more political involvement in the European aircraft industry.

The other is the future of the European aircraft industry. If there is to be a future, that future must be based upon commercial decisions and the preconditions of the market, not on political discussions in parliaments or in governments. It is the involvement of too many governments, too many parliaments and too much politics that is creating problems and hindering the decision-making that would make the best of the opportunities open to the European aircraft industry.

The task of Airbus must be to produce and deliver the best aeroplanes in the world, not to deliver political promises from whatever country or from whatever government it is. I think there is only way to ensure that we can contribute to that. Of course, we shall have the best possible support for research and science, but we shall also ensure that we can have a functioning market – and a functioning transatlantic market because that is crucial. It is important to ensure that the responsibility of the aircraft industry and of Airbus, as we are discussing here, is kept within the company and in the management of the company, because otherwise all the decision-making will be split, complicated and bureaucratic and will lead to new failures. I think we should go for new success and give the company better opportunities by letting it be independent and not involved in political decision-making.