Antonio Tajani, the European commissioner who started, back in 2013, the steel action plan, has been elected president of the European Parliament.
“We are welcoming the election of Tajani in his new position. He helped a lot the steel industry first in his role as European MP and then as the Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship. He re-started talk about the steel industry”, Antonio Gozzi, chairman of Italian steel federation Federacciai told Platts.
With his “steel action plan” Tajani was one of the first to draw attention to the major challenges that the European steel sector was facing: low demand in Europe not matching the installed capacity, increasing energy costs and reliance on imported raw materials, as well as highlighting unfair competition and challenging environmental requirements, Gozzi added.
In particular Tajani underscored the strategic importance of European steel due to its close links with many downstream industrial sectors such as automotive, construction and electronics, emphasizing the importance to take action to keep alive the steel sector in Europe in the overall view that a robust industrial base is essential for Europe’s economic growth.
The 2013 plan – the first comprehensive action plan for steel proposed by the Commission since the Davignon Plan of 1977 – came eleven years after the expiration of the European Coal & Steel Community (ECSC) Treaty in 2002.
In February 2016, the European Commission implemented and strengthened the “Tajani plan”, pushing for a level playing field as well as promoting investment and a favourable business environment. One of the most effective response was the imposing a record number of trade defence measures to offset the effect of dumping on Europe’s steel industry.
Annalisa Villa, PLATTS