The European Commission’s proposal to extend steel safeguard measures for three years was adopted by EU member states on Friday, with 17 in favour, eight against and two abstentions, informed sources tell Kallanish.
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Malta and Ireland voted against the proposal, while Austria and Cyprus abstained. The 17 member states who voted in favour represent 88% of the EU’s population – the minimum condition for a qualified majority decision is 15 member states representing at least 65% of the population.
When approached by Kallanish for comment on Friday, a Commission representative said: “Member States supported the draft implementing act on the prolongation of the steel safeguard. The Commission intends to take a decision on the prolongation before the end of June 2021.”
On 11 June the Commission notified parties to the investigation as well as the WTO of its intention to prolong steel safeguard measures for three years beyond 30 June (see Kallanish passim). In its determination following the safeguard review, the Commission found evidence that the measures continue to be necessary to prevent or remedy serious injury or threat to EU steel industry.
Consultations on the proposal took place between 14 and 18 June.
According to the EC proposal, a relaxation of tariff-free quotas of 3% annually would be implemented during the 2021-2024 period. A review of how the measure is working would be carried out before the end of June 2022.
Adam Smith Germany