EU Commission proposals fail to plot way forward for steel industry
The European Commission today published its long-awaited action plan for the steel industry in Europe. Commenting on the proposals, Green industrial policy spokesperson Reinhard Bütikofer stated:
"This action plan is a disappointment. Despite no shortage of rhetoric, there is no realistic goal and no vision for addressing the crisis in the steel industry.
"The European steel sector has a clear demand-side problem, with neither the construction sector nor the automotive industry able to rescue it. A clear focus on sustainable infrastructure development, such as from the wind energy sector, could bring hope. Unfortunately, such a strategy is glaringly absent in the action plan. How can the steel industry move forward if its future markets are ignored?
"Instead, the Commission has used the action plan to orchestrate a broadside on EU climate policies. This shameless opportunism is completely off the mark.
"The steel industry cannot be made fit for the future with a policy dependent on access to new subsidies, without tying subsidies to strict criteria for innovation. A lack of regulation and an environmental dumping strategy are also wrongheaded. Ignoring the economic and environmental realities and rushing headlong into shale gas extraction is also a dead-end approach.
"The European Commission has failed to grasp the opportunity and place the future competitiveness of Europe's steel industry firmly on the basis of sustainability."