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Document selected : B7-0540/2012

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further to Question for Oral Answer B7‑0368/2012

pursuant to Rule 115(5) of the Rules of Procedure

on the EU steel industry (2012/2833(RSP))

Fiona Hall on behalf of the ALDE Group
Giles Chichester on behalf of the ECR Group
Reinhard Bütikofer on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

European Parliament resolution on the EU steel industry (2012/2833(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and to the Community Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on the steel industry and the restructuring, transfer and closure of companies in the EU,

–   having regard to Rules 115(5) and 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the maintenance of a sustainable, competitive steel sector is in the interest of the whole European Union;

B.  whereas the European steel industry in many Member States is suffering from a substantial drop in global demand, in some cases challenges related to competitiveness, and increased costs;

C. whereas the Union and its Member States have a role to play in coordinating policies to ensure that a sustainable, competitive steel industry can respond to changing European and non-European market conditions;

D. whereas current estimates suggest that 360 000 jobs are reliant on the EU steel industry, but whereas this number is under significant pressure and further job losses cannot be ruled out;

E.  whereas the steel industry is impacted by developments in other sectors, such as the Glencore-Xstrata merger;

F.  whereas the current crisis, like previous ones, is creating enormous social hardship for the workers, families and regions affected;

1.  Highlights the importance of the steel industry to the European Union’s economy, as well as to all downstream industries that use its products, as exemplified by the important role that steel production plays in the development of renewable energy technologies;

2.  Notes the difficulties facing the steel sector in many EU Member States, driven in part by sharp increases in the price of raw materials, falls in global demand and increases in energy-related costs;

3.  Calls on the Commission, the Council and the Member States to monitor the challenges faced by the steel sector and, where appropriate, to take these concerns into account in the development of relevant policies and legislation;

4.  Highlights the need for a better-coordinated EU industrial policy that can aim to prevent the further relocation of steel plants and production outside the EU, and welcomes in this regard the Commission’s initiative of developing a European Action Plan for the steel sector by 2013;

5.  Stresses the need, when necessary restructuring takes place, for a level playing field in the steel sector across the Union;

6.  Notes the role that could be played by the potential deployment of relevant EU financial instruments such as the European Social Fund and, in the short term, the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund;

7.  Recognises the important role that EU-funded research and innovation programmes can play in ensuring the competitiveness of the European steel sector;

8.  Notes that, while the production of steel accounts for approximately 5 % of total global CO2 emissions, since 1975 improvements in energy efficiency have led to reductions of about 50 % in the energy required to produce a tonne of crude steel in most of the top steel‑producing countries;

9.  Considers that energy efficiency and resource efficiency can generate substantial cost savings, and urges the sector to continue to pursue the opportunities available;

10. Calls on the Commission to continue to support the research taking place in the EU on ultra-low CO2 steelmaking (ULCOS), and notes the promising identification of CO2 breakthrough solutions;

11. Notes the broader importance for Europe of continuing to attract foreign direct investment by working to achieve a competitive business environment and reducing barriers to investment;

12. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

Last updated: 6 December 2012Legal notice