June 2024


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ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products

Online client newsletter | June 2024

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Why we all need a European Industrial Deal

By Geert Van Poelvoorde,
CEO, ArcelorMittal Europe

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In late February this year, I stood with 72 other industry leaders in Antwerp (Belgium) to call for a European Industrial Deal that will ensure Europe remains competitive, resilient, and sustainable in the face of uncertain economic conditions. In the presence of European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, and Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, we signed the ‘Antwerp Declaration’.

The text underlines the commitment of the industrial sector to being present in Europe, and our commitment to transition our businesses to climate neutrality. It also outlines 10 actions that European leaders must make urgently, to restore our competitiveness in the global market and to keep good jobs in Europe.

73 business leaders from across Europe launched the Antwerp Declaration during the 2024 European Industry Summit.

The leaders standing in Antwerp came from around 20 different industrial sectors. They represented almost 8 million workers, and businesses which generate over €550 billion in added value for the European economy. Since February, the number of signatures has grown to 1101, representing 25 different sectors. The scale of the support for the Declaration shows how strongly we feel the need to speak up for Europe’s industries. Our call comes at a time when European industry is facing a serious economic downturn. Demand is falling, some investors are moving their businesses to other regions, and energy prices are too high.

The Antwerp Declaration for a European Industrial Deal

The call for a business case for investments in Europe is supported by:

Associations & unions

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We believe that many of the problems industry faces in Europe stem from a lack of clarity, predictability, and confidence in the region’s industrial policy. We believe the solution lies in leveraging the full potential of the EU’s Single Market and implementing laws that encourage European investment.

Clean energy a major challenge

A key example of why coordinated action is required is Europe’s transition to cleaner energy sources. The region needs to become a globally competitive provider of energy.

ArcelorMittal Europe has committed to cutting our carbon emissions by 35-percent by 2030, and to achieve zero-carbon steelmaking by 2050. We will do this by using a number of different technology routes to take us to decarbonised steelmaking.

But to do this, we need a huge amount of clean energy – green hydrogen and renewable electricity – at an affordable rate. That will enable lower-emitting steel plants in Europe to remain sustainable and competitive on the global stage.

While steelmaking is among the most energy-intensive industries in Europe, every sector represented on the stage in Antwerp in February needs the same thing. A coordinated approach to providing clean energy across Europe is therefore vital.

That’s why one of the Antwerp Declaration’s 10 actions calls for legislation which creates incentives for businesses to invest in clean technologies - legislation that avoids prescriptive and detailed implementing regulations, and over-reporting.

As ArcelorMittal Europe, we fully support a European Industrial Deal to complement the EU Green Deal. We have been fighting for an industrial policy of this kind for many years. The Antwerp Declaration is the strongest sign yet that Europe recognises the need for a strong industrial sector in order for the Green Deal to succeed.

By Geert Van Poelvoorde,
CEO, ArcelorMittal Europe

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