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EU steel industry supports Commission President’s initiative for a renewed Industrial Strategy to ensure clean tech is made in Europe

Date

13 Sep 2023

Sections

Climate & Environment
Brussels, 13 September 2023 – The European steel sector welcomes the vision for a renewed Industrial Strategy set out by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in the State of the Union address. Relaunching Europe’s industrial engine with concrete measures in all relevant policy areas should be both a core mission for the final year of this legislature and a top priority for the future EU executive. The European steel sector, which has launched over 60 industrial-scale decarbonisation projects, stands ready to engage with the Commission to develop and implement the urgent actions needed to boost the whole European cleantech ecosystem, says the European Steel Association.
 
“After a record number of key legislative pieces setting the EU’s path towards climate neutrality and a changed geopolitical context, there is high urgency for the development and implementation of concrete measures enabling the transition to clean steel made in Europe. This includes faster and more predictable funding and permitting procedures, a clear focus on providing access to cost-competitive, fossil-free energy, a more assertive trade policy against unfair practices, as well as seizing the opportunity of an agreement with the U.S. on Sustainable Steel and Aluminium, and a forward-looking implementation of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism”, pleaded Axel Eggert, Director General of the European Steel Association (EUROFER).
 
The Commission President clearly pointed out in her speech that “from wind to steel, from batteries to electric vehicles, our ambition is crystal clear: the future of our clean tech industry has to be made in Europe”.
 
“We fully share the Commission’s objective to lead the transition by facilitating investments and innovation, rather than by leaking technologies, emissions and jobs to third countries. We have the joint task of reverting the trend of the last decades, when Europe lost around 25% of its steel workforce and became a net steel importer from countries that do not share the same climate ambition”, stressed Mr. Eggert. “The European steel sector is not just an industry, it is an ecosystem nurturing most of the EU manufacturing, including all the clean technologies needed to reach climate neutrality, ranging from wind and solar to electric vehicles. We stand ready to closely cooperate with the Commission and ensure that the future of our clean tech industry is made in Europe. Let’s make it happen together!”, he concluded.
 
Steel is not just a material, it is a testament to Europe’s prosperity, resilience, innovation, and commitment to sustainability. The European steel industry employs over 300,000 workers and sustains nearly 2.3 million jobs both indirectly and induced across the EU, whilst creating a Gross Value Added (GVA) close to €143 billion. With over 3,500 grades of steel – 75% of which have been innovatively developed in the last two decades – European steel is stronger, lighter, and greener. Through continuous innovation, the sector is making strives to become even more efficient and climate neutral. Clean steel plants are already becoming a reality across Europe, with at least 60 low-carbon steel projects to be implemented by 2030 – if the right conditions are in place -, further cutting CO2 emissions by 81.5 million tonnes per year.
 
In fact, European steel is at the forefront of a circular, fully decarbonised economy in Europe.  It is an innately circular, ‘permanent material’ that is 100% recyclable without losing its essential properties. The EU boasts an estimated 88% steel recycling rate, while in 2021 more than half of steel production in the EU was made from recycled steel.
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Notes for editors
Contact
Lucia Sali, Spokesperson and Head of Communications, +32 2 738 79 35, (l.sali@eurofer.eu)
 
About the European Steel Association (EUROFER)
EUROFER AISBL is located in Brussels and was founded in 1976. It represents the entirety of steel production in the European Union. EUROFER members are steel companies and national steel federations throughout the EU. The major steel companies and national steel federation of Turkey and the United Kingdom are associate members.
 
The European Steel Association is recorded in the EU transparency register: 93038071152-83.
 
About the European steel industry
The European steel industry is a world leader in innovation and environmental sustainability. It has a turnover of around €130 billion and directly employs around 306,000 highly-skilled people, producing on average 152 million tonnes of steel per year. More than 500 steel production sites across 22 EU Member States provide direct and indirect employment to millions more European citizens. Closely integrated with Europe’s manufacturing and construction industries, steel is the backbone for development, growth and employment in Europe.
 
Steel is the most versatile industrial material in the world. The thousands of different grades and types of steel developed by the industry make the modern world possible. Steel is 100% recyclable and therefore is a fundamental part of the circular economy. As a basic engineering material, steel is also an essential factor in the development and deployment of innovative, CO2-mitigating technologies, improving resource efficiency and fostering sustainable development in Europe.
 

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