Commission’s new industrial policy just empty words?

Commission decision on EU ETS further increases unilateral cost burden for EU industry

EUROFER has strong concerns about the European Commission decision on Member States' national implementation measures (NIMs) for the third EU ETS trading period. The decision, adopted last Thursday, applies the so-called cross-sectoral correction factor cutting benchmark-based free allocation for industrial installations by 5.73 % in 2013, increasing thereafter to 17.56% in 2020. The average reduction of free allocation will be 11.58 % over the period 2013 to 2020.

The steel sector already receives free allowances at levels far below the needs of even its best performers due to technically unachievable benchmarks and the sector is practically not allowed to grow beyond historic production levels. The new decision worsens the situation significantly as the sector needs to buy more allowances on the market. It increases the shortage in allowances for the most efficient European steel installations to up to 30 %. This is despite the sector being designated as at risk of carbon leakage and the fact that the most efficient installations should in fact have received 100 % of their requirements for free. This was clearly the intent of policymakers when they designed the directive in 2008.

Gordon Moffat, EUROFER Director General: “This development makes a mockery of all promises of protection against carbon leakage. We therefore request urgent action from the Commission to reopen the file and remove the correction factor for sectors which are competing internationally. Without action, the good intentions expressed in the new European industrial policy and EU steel action plan would just be empty words and the efforts made by EU Commissioner Antonio Tajani would be in vain.”

Represented by EUROFER, the European steel industry is a world leader in its sector with a turnover of 170 billion euro and direct employment of 360 thousand highly skilled people, producing on average 190 million tonnes of steel per year. More than 500 steel production and processing sites in 23 member states of the European Union provide direct and indirect employment and a living for millions of European citizens.


Gordon Moffat, Director General, +32 2 738 79 26 (g.moffat@eurofer.be)
Axel Eggert, Director Public Affairs & Communication, +32 2 738 79 34 (a.eggert@eurofer.be)

The European Steel Association (EUROFER AISBL)

Avenue de Cortenbergh, 172
B-1000 Brussels

Tel.: +32 2 738 79 20
Fax.: +32 2 738 79 55