Eight EU members, including Poland, appeal for aid to steel industry
Polish Deputy PM and Development Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz as well as ministers representing seven other EU member states in a joint letter seen by PAP appealed to EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan for protection of the EU's steel market.
In their letter, the ministers point out that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented slowdown in Europe, which has an adverse effect on the local steel industry.
The diminishing demand for steel has led to a serious reduction of capacity utilisation and the closure of a few production facilities in Europe, the ministers write, adding that aggressive actions of non-EU exporters were damaging European industry.
Therefore it is necessary to take adequate measures to protect it, they argue.
The ministers acknowledged the contingents for steel imports that already exist in the EU, but according to them the current crisis calls for further action. The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, has prepared a draft facilitating contingent management, but the ministers believe the measures should be stricter.
Apart from Poland, the letter's signatories include Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Slovakia and Spain.