Growth has started to return in Europe, but recovery remains fragile. "Political efforts to strengthen Europe´s capacity to grow and create jobs must continue", EU leaders will conclude at tomorrow´s council meeting in Brussels. In particular action is needed to re-balance climate and industrial policies.
Industrial electricity prices in the EU are two times higher compared to the US and industrial gas prices are even 3 times higher. EUROFER director general Gordon Moffat: “To meet the 2020 target is extremely difficult and comes at huge cost. But producing steel in Europe is important for the manufacturing value chains. If any part of that chain breaks, you will see large part of manufacturing lost and hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
In July the new European Parliament will come into action, in November the next European Commission will start to work. The next decision makers should not be blind to the industry eye. MEP Paul Rübig calls for a binding "industry target" in addition to existing climate policy targets. "We must aim at an industrial production of 20% of European BIP. Without clear industry targets we jeopardize jobs in Europe. A strategy for the re-industrialization of Europe, should respect both - climate change and growth”, says MEP Paul Rübig, EPP.
A lot of paperwork has been done in the past five years, the next five years are ready for activity. The steel action plan exists, but the climate chapter is still missing, says Moffat. “The fight against unemployment should be a priority for the next president of the European Commission”, Paul Rübig says. “Therefore the next president should give top priority to a balanced climate policy to prevent the European industry from relocating their production abroad”.
EUROFER, the European steel industry represents the world leader in its sector, producing on average 170 million tonnes of steel per year with direct employment of 350 thousand highly skilled people. More than 500 steel production and processing sites in 24 EU member states provide direct and indirect employment for millions of European citizens.
Barbara Herbst, Communications Manager, +32 2 738 79 32 (firstname.lastname@example.org)