The European engineering industry (EI) plays a vital role in the economic recovery of Europe and the ambitious goal to increase the industrial output by 2020 to more than 20% of the GDP. However, more investment of companies is necessary to generate such growth, to reverse the current trend and to get people out of unemployment.
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The EESC considers the APS as a first step forward, recognising the steel sector as a strategically important sector for Europe and a motor for growth. It will be judged on the way it is implemented. Not only on medium and long term as foreseen but also on what practical measures will be immediately decided. The opinion makes specific immediate suggestions to ensure that the sector remains strategic for the European manufacturing industry and employment.
If the message of this opinion should be summarised in a sentence, this would be: "Enough is enough; rules must be respected".
Steel industry is at the forefront of granting MES to China. However, the opinion does not tackle the legal and political side of granting MES to China (CCMI/144). It focuses on the Commission's communication and puts forward specific additional measures to provide Europe's steel industry with the level playing field it needs to preserve growth and jobs.
In the framework of this opinion a hearing (Changes and prospects for the metal working industry) was organized in Barcelona, Spain, on 31 May 2010.