ESA Council at Ministerial Level Naples 20 November 2012 large

The EU Competitiveness Council has agreed on the need to take concrete actions that will help ensure the long-term viability of a modern European steel sector.

The Council said that the EU steel sector suffers from major global overcapacity in production, which pushes down prices and encourages trade distorting behavior from competing regions. High energy costs are eroding margins and the resulting closure of steel plants is costing thousands of jobs.

The statement released by the Council pointed out that discussions should be intensified or launched involving all important steel producers in the context of the OECD Steel Committee and through the EU Commission's bilateral steel dialogues with third countries like China, Russia, Belarus, Turkey and India.

Another concrete action that should be taken is to make full and timely use of the full range of EU trade policy instruments to ensure a global level playing field and to address restrictive measures in third countries in particular as regards the steel sector.