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Emergency EU measures immediately needed to overcome life-threatening energy crisis for European steel industry

Date

09 Sep 2022

Sections

Energy

Brussels, 09 September 2022 – On the occasion of the extraordinary Energy Council, the  European steel industry calls on EU policymakers to provide immediate relief against high  energy prices and costs also for energy-intensive industries exposed to international  competition. Conventional trade and energy policy measures are clearly insufficient and would  seriously put at risk of survival these sectors, which are the backbone of the EU’s value chains. 

“The current gas and electricity prices threaten the viability of steelmaking in Europe, while third  country producers not subject to such constraints or whose governments do not take similar  action against the Russian aggression take advantage of the situation by exporting massively to  the EU at distorted prices. As a consequence, in Europe we are witnessing steel plant closures,  production curtailments and layoff programmes. The war in Ukraine and the subsequent,  necessary EU sanctions against Russia have thrown the EU into an exceptional crisis which  requires exceptional and immediate measures by EU policymakers to prevent the destruction of  Europe’s industrial base, going beyond the EU’s usual ‘rule book’, including swift trade  emergency measures”, said Axel Eggert, Director General of the European Steel Association  (EUROFER). “The current crisis undermines the business model of several energy intensive  industries, which are the backbone of entire industrial value chains. This means concrete risks for  high value jobs, investments and know-how in Europe to the advantage of third countries that  benefit from far lower energy prices and do not share the same level of climate ambition”, he  added. 

An EU-wide response is necessary for Europe to overcome the emergency, while pursuing further  integration of the national energy markets. Given the severity of the crisis, a package of different  solutions is needed, and no option should be left off the table. 

If EU institutions do not take urgent measures also for energy intensive industries exposed to  global competition, their survival is highly uncertain. However, preliminary Commission  proposals fall short in this regard. “The European steel industry is ready to contribute to the  efforts of European policymakers in developing concrete solutions to overcome the crisis and  deliver a more united and prosperous EU”, concluded Mr. Eggert. 

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