European social partners jointly comment on transition of the European steel sector
by David Fleschen
Industriall & EUROFER have published the following joint statement:
With energy and raw material costs remaining high, global overcapacity continuing to increase, and no end in sight for the cost-of-living crisis in Europe, the European steel social partners, industriAll European Trade Union and EUROFER commit to continue to work together to support the twin green and digital transition of the European steel industry and its workers.
European steel is essential for the green transition and is at the heart of European industry providing 310,000 direct, and 2.2 million indirect jobs, in the EU. Ahead of the EU elections in 2024, various pieces of EU legislation need to be finalised with the aim of ensuring a more sustainable future for the steel industry in Europe.
Now more than ever, the European steel sector and its workers need to see increased support for investment to ensure that the green and digital transitions are managed successfully with no steel worker or region being left behind.
European Social Partners:
- Agree to work together towards a sustainable European steel industry that supports quality jobs with good working conditions.
- Commit to fully respect social dialogue at all levels, in line with national or European legislation.
- Call for the fast implementation of the enabling framework conditions in all relevant policy areas (funding, permitting, trade, energy, climate, etc) to spur investment to decarbonise the sector noting the importance of social conditionalities.
- Highlight the need for fair access to the EU Modernisation Fund and EU Innovation Fund for any steel site which meets the relevant criteria, noting the high levels of investment needed to decarbonise steel plants.
- Confirm their intent to follow the first phase of the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and to propose relevant reviews and improvements as required to ensure that it is fit for purpose.
- Stress the need to find urgent solutions to limit the costs and prices of gas and electricity as well as long-term solutions to ensure access to affordable and clean energy, including hydrogen.
- Will continue to support the revision and implementation of the EU’s Waste Shipments Regulation insisting that strong social and environmental standards must be upheld and that the European industry must have access to high-quality scrap.
- Continue to advocate for a more level international playing field which requires an effective EU - US Arrangement on Sustainable Steel tackling global overcapacity and related unnecessary CO2 emissions, maintaining steel safeguards, tackling dumping of cheap steel and working towards fair competition.
- Will collaborate together on the forthcoming EU transition pathway on basic metals to establish an ambitious blueprint for the sectors to meet the twin digital and green transitions while ensuring a Just Transition.
- Stand ready for the Clean Transition Dialogue as announced in the State of the Union Speech of Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to discuss the regulatory framework for the digital and green transformation of the steel sector.
- Call for candidates for the European elections in 2024 to commit to working with the national and European steel social partners towards a more sustainable European steel sector.
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.
Source: Eurofer, Photo: Fotolia