EU set to revive steel industry
London, June 12, 2013
The European Commission has unveiled an array of measures and recommendations to revive Europe's steel industry, hurt by tumbling demand and plant closures.
The "EU steel action plan", presented by Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani, is the first comprehensive attempt by the Commission to stem the steel sector's decline since the Davignon Plan of 1977.
The plan aims to cut red tape, boost apprenticeship schemes and innovation, create a level international playing field and study ways to lessen the burden of energy costs, which account for about 40 per cent of steelmakers' operating costs.
It also says existing EU funds should be used to ease the social cost of restructuring, which has caused the loss of 40,000 jobs in recent years, including the planned closing of most facilities at ArcelorMittal in LiŽge Belgium.
Critics said the plan contained few new measures and that much more decision action would be required to save a sector afflicted by overcapacity, weak demand and tight financing.-Reuters