Keeping the Metals Industry in Europe
Europe’s non-ferrous metals industry:
- Drives EU economic growth and innovation
- Is essential for a sustainable society and circular economy
- Operates at the highest environmental standards
- Enables innovation within Europe’s major value chains
Although demand for metals grows worldwide, our competitiveness has been weakened by:
- High EU regulatory and energy costs, which cannot be passed onto our customers due to global pricing mechanisms for metals.
- A lack of long-term predictability in EU climate policies, making it difficult to mobilise new investments into facilities and innovation.
- The absence of a global level playing-field in areas ranging from environmental protection to trade, which disadvantages European companies against their international competitors.
To safeguard our industry, Eurometaux calls for EU policy makers to implement a strong industrial policy that:
- Prioritises re-industrialisation across the EU legislative programme
- Provides long-term predictability to EU industry
- Implements conditions for a global level playing-field
- Assesses how all EU policy objectives impact on competitiveness
Within this framework, our recovery can be strengthened through specific EU action in four priority areas, as outlined below.
These are complementary to any other policy objectives for a reduced carbon footprint, increased resource efficiency, or better environmental protection.
1. Ensure affordable energy, without excessive regulatory costs
Europe’s non-ferrous metals industry is an electro-intensive industry, significantly impacted by high EU electricity prices and ETS regulatory costs. To provide long-term predictability and protect from carbon and investment leakage, EU policy makers must:
- Provide long-term protection for energy-intensive industries
- Compensate for indirect ETS costs
- Complete the internal energy market
- Avoid short-term interventions in the EU ETS.
2. Continue to seek free and fair international trade
Europe’s non-ferrous metals industry actively promotes a free and fair trade environment respective of WTO rules, but is faced with trade distortions from certain third countries. To secure a level playing-field among global operators, and to counteract distortive trade policy from third countries, EU policy makers must:
- Take a leading role in international climate negotiations
- Improve market access for EU exports
- Defend EU market conditions
- Take a pragmatic approach to responsible sourcing
3. Pursue smart and coherent environmental regulation
Europe’s non-ferrous metals industry is committed to high standards of protection for human health and the environment, but is subject to a complex and overlapping regulatory framework at the EU level. To ensure a more streamlined, coherent and effective regime, EU policy makers must:
- Ensure effectiveness of existing environmental legislation, and avoid overlaps
- Increase relevance of impact assessments
- Underpin all decisions with robust science
- Regulate substances on the basis of risk, not hazard
4. Incentivise sustainable resource management and innovation
Europe’s non-ferrous metals industry is a global front-runner in sustainable resource management and innovation. To further advance our contribution to a circular economy, the EU should:
- Reward high quality recycling
- Implement robust and coherent lifecycle methodologies
- Develop sound indicators for resource efficiency
- Support industry’s innovation capacity