EPRSLibrary By / September 24, 2013

European steel industry

In December 2012, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution on the EU steel industry requiring the Commission to provide “a clear picture of…

© Senza rivali / Fotolia

In December 2012, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution on the EU steel industry requiring the Commission to provide “a clear picture of the situation as regards the major changes occurring in the steel industry in Europe“.

In June 2013, the European Commission published an Action Plan for a competitive and sustainable steel industry in Europe that aims to meet several challenges, i.e. the right regulatory framework, the demand for steel, access to raw materials, energy, climate, resource and energy-efficiency policies, innovation, and the social dimension. In response, the EP launches the own-initiative procedure 2013/2177(INI).

The present library keysource aims to provide the latest available studies regarding this industry and its challenges.


Best Available Techniques (BAT) Reference, Document for Iron and Steel Production / European Commission, Joint Research Centre, 2013, 627p.

This document provides general information about the iron and steel production industry in the EU: its geographical distribution, economics and employment, the main environmental issues (energy, materials and infrastructure, water and waste water).

Realities of Survival for European Steel – Is there a future for Steel in Europe? / SteelConsult International, 23/05/2013, 36p.

Slideshow providing figures about the current EU steel situation, the short-term outlook, and the long-term challenges (imports, offshoring, CO2 emissions costs).

Commission Staff Working Document: European industry in a changing world – Updated sectoral overview 2009, SEC(2009) 1111 final, 30/07/2009, 204p. p.182-189: Steel

This document gives a SWOT (strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats) overview, up to 2008, of the steel industry’s competitiveness, R&D and innovation, employment, knowledge and skills, and details its vulnerability to the financial crisis.


Steel’s Contribution to a Low-Carbon Europe 2050 / The Boston Consulting Group, 2013, 49p. [The reader has to log in]

Technical and economic analysis of the sector’s CO2 abatement potential. The role of the steel industry in the climate change challenge.

Global steel – 2011 trends – 2012 outlook – Competing for growth in the steel sector / Ernst & Young, 2012, 38p.

Analysis of the conflict between steelmaking capacities and employment policies.

Study on the Competitiveness of the European Steel Sector / European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry, 8/2008, 168p.

Baseline for the Commission staff working document quoted above, this study details the competitive position of the EU steel industry, explains the regulatory and framework conditions for competitiveness, and develops a strategic outlook.

Stakeholder views

EU Steel day sets out needs for European steel sector, Brussels, May 16th, 2013 / EP Library summary.

The view of the industry, the unions and the Commission.

High-level round (HLR) table on the future of the European Steel Industry. Recommendations / European Commission, Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General, 12/02/2013, 25p.

The HLR tables gathered the Commissioners for Industry and Entrepreneurship and for Employment and Social Affairs with industry chief executives and trade unions. The document lists the main factors affecting competitiveness of the EU steel industry (steel demand, raw materials issues, various policies and their effects) and develops concrete recommendations.

Manufacturing a stronger and greener Europe / Orgalime and Ceemet, 2012, 32p.

Employer’s “policy manifesto” that sets out recommendations regarding the industry needs for regulation and support to competitiveness and investment, the functioning of the internal market, research and development, infrastructure, energy policy, labour and skills, social security and markets within a sustainable approach.

Quelles capacités de production sidérurgiques en Europe? How rosy or green is the future for the European steel industry / Philippe Morvannou for Syndex, 09/2012, 10p.

Slide show, in French, that gives data about the steel climate, the balance of trade, production capacities, temporary or definitive locks of production tools, steel production and sustainability.


Economic and Steel Market Outlook 2013-2014 / Eurofer, 18p.

Quarterly report from the European Steel Association that provides macroeconomic overviews for the EU, US, and key emerging regions, and an overview of the EU steel market.

Iron and steel: EU27-extra EU in International Trade by Commodity Statistics, Volume 2011, Issue 5 / OECD, 29/08/2012

Iron and steel import and export data for EU27 and extra-EU countries from 2006 until 2010.

Iron and steel production and processing statistics – NACE Rev. 1.1 / Eurostat.

Data from 01/2009 [since 2009, no data are collected anymore, further to the Commission’s report COM(2009)542 final, (see Related legislative procedure)].

Metals and metal products in European business — Facts and figures / Eurostat, 2009, 28p.

Commented tables on 2006-2007 manufacturing data.

EU programmes and projets

The European steel research is supported by three instruments:

  • the Framework Contracts for research (2007-20132014-2020);
  • ESTEP (European Steel Technology Platform);
  • RFCS (Research Fund for Coal and Steel).

286 projects are registered in CORDIS for the Coal and Steel Programme’s ULCOS (Ultra Low CO2 Steelmaking) initiative, divided in two parts:

[Other information related to ULCOS I is available in ULCOS – A high-tech consortium to forge greener steel / EC, DG Research & Innovation]

Related legislative procedure

Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 on industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control) (recast) / Official Journal of the European Union L334, 17/10/2010.

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT on the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 48/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 December 2003 on the production of annual Community statistics on the steel industry for the reference years 2003-2009, COM(2009)542 final, 15/10/2009, 13p.

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