European Parliament backs EU steel action plan; says more could be done
The European Parliament motion backing the European Union’s steel action plan was passed in a resolution in Strasbourg, France on Tuesday February 4.
Speaking after the vote, Hungarian conservative and the action plan’s author András Gyürk noted that the financial crisis has hit the industry hard. Gyürk believes real public money needs to be spent to prevent EU steel production moving overseas.
“The European steel industry has lost more than 65 000 jobs during the past few years due to the closures of plants,” he said.
“The recovery of the domestic demand is not expected in the short term and the worldwide share of the European companies is shrinking,” he added.
The Hungarian politician blames high energy prices in Europe, stringent environmental regulations and trade restrictions for further challenging the industry and called on the European Commission and EU member states to actively generate demand for steel.
They should invest in research and development, while advancing European infrastructure development projects, for instance.
The parliament’s vote was welcomed by Eurofer, the Brusselsbased steel industry association.
“It will send a strong message to the commission and heads of states,” director-general Gordon Moffat told Metal Bulletin sister title Steel First.
He said it signalled political support for the concept that “the steel sector has a strategic importance for several major European industries, such as terrestrial and naval transport, construction, machinery, electrical household appliances, energy and defence”.
Members of the European Parliament backed the motion’s endorsement of establishing an EU High Level Group advising on steel policy, and its criticism of the infrequency of their annual meetings.
Publish date : Tuesday 11 February 2014 22:12
Story Code: 3366