European steel is at the heart of European industry and is responsible for 310,000 direct, and 2.2 million indirect jobs, in the EU. The triple energy, raw material and cost of living crises means that strong social dialogue and support at national and European level is more important than ever to safeguard the sector and protect jobs.
With energy costs around seven times higher than before the crisis and carbon at 70€/t, the European steel sector is buckling under huge bills, much higher than in those in other steel producing regions. The illegal invasion of Ukraine, which exasperated the energy crisis, has also led to a massive decrease or stoppage of traditional raw materials supply from Russia and Ukraine, such as iron ore, requiring European companies sourcing from other destinations at much higher costs. Furthermore, workers and citizens are suffering with EU inflation at 10% (September 2022).
The European Social Partners, the European Steel Association (EUROFER) and industriAll European Trade Union (industriAll Europe), call for urgent action to safeguard the European steel sector and protect these high skilled, quality jobs in Europe while also working towards a carbon-lean, environmentally responsible, circular, and internationally competitive European steel sector.
The twin green and digital transitions have never been more challenging, and additional investment and support will be needed to ensure that these transitions are a success with no steel worker or region being left behind.
European Social Partners:
The European Social Partners will continue to work together and with national and European policy makers to ensure the survival of the European steel sector.
Signed in Brussels, 17 October 2022
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Brussels, 07 December 2023 – The inclusion of transformative industrial technologies for the decarbonisation of energy-intensive sectors, such as steel, in the list of net-zero technologies in the general approach adopted by the Council on the Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA), sends a positive signal at a crucial time when governments are deliberating urgent measures to protect the climate at COP28 in Dubai. Parliament and Council should now seize the opportunity to reach an ambitious agreement to promote EU-made green products in public auctions of net-zero technologies and to drive Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) in Europe. Promoting lead markets and CCUS are essential tools for sustaining the transition to low-carbon steelmaking, says the European Steel Association.
Brussels, 01 December 2023 – Further delays in implementing EU sanctions against Russian steel semifinished products would have a perverse effect, ultimately fuelling Putin’s war machine against Ukraine. The EU Council should reject additional exemption requests from a few member states defending the lucrative business model of few steel rerollers. The trade dynamic that takes advantage of cheap steel imported from Russia while aiding the supply to its military and related downstream sectors must come to an end, states the European Steel Association.
Industriall & EUROFER joint statement