EUROFER Welcomes EU’s Updated Industrial Policy
The European Steel Association has welcomed the release of the EU’s updated industrial policy strategy and the inclusion of a specific analysis on steel. It shows the EU’s support for sectors, such as steel, that are strategic to the European economy and that are pushing to rally and decarbonise in the post-COVID era, but that are dependent on an enabling framework preventing carbon leakage. EUROFER Director General Mr Axel Eggert said “The COVID crisis highlighted the fragility of the Single Market, as well as the strategic dependencies the EU has on the rest of the global economy. We needed a functioning, updated strategy, one that accounts for the shocks wrought by the COVID crisis. We are pleased to see that the Commission has accounted for the specific challenges that steel faces and the incredible potential and ambition we have to decarbonise if the right incentives for green steel are set”.
Mr Eggert added “The first strategy laid out how successful alliances can be in delivering on specific policy goals, such as in hydrogen, batteries and raw materials. The update must account for the changed policy objectives after the most recent crisis favouring strategically important, green value chain projects, such as those the European steel industry is working on. We did not expect the strategy to present fully-fledged solutions for the major challenges the steel industry and other sectors are facing, but it is a start at putting the puzzle together. To be successful, the industrial strategy’s analysis and ‘toolbox’ on steel must be forged into a Steel Action Plan. This work should be led at the highest level by policymakers, employers and unions, taking full account of the upcoming fit-for-55% climate package. A market for green steel must be created, support for research, development and innovation secured, workers prepared for the transition, international trade competitiveness preserved, carbon leakage prevented, environmental and climate costs shared, and risks balanced. We are looking forward to seeing how this updated strategy can positively impact EU industry, society and the environment.”
The original strategy, published in March 2020, attempted to provide a framework for a coordinated and holistic effort to improve the Union’s industrial competitiveness and innovation in both digital and the green transition. The European steel industry has over 100 decarbonisation projects underway across Europe which could, over the next few years and if fully implemented, help the sector reduce its emissions by 30% by 2030 (compared to 2018; 55% compared to 1990). By 2050, the steel sector wants to be close to carbon neutrality.