EU Safeguard extension: Italian steel association rebels
EU Safeguard extension: Italian steel association rebels

21 June 2024 – The Italian steel association Assofermet is concerned about the EU Safeguard extension until 2026 and sees a further gap of more than 1.6 million tonnes of steel coming to the EU economy due to new quota regulations. But are press releases still helpful now? Wouldn’t it be better to influence their own government directly?

Italian steel association opposes EU Safeguard extension

In a press release dated 18 June 2024 (available to us), the Italian steel association Assofermet expressed great concern that the EU Commission’s intention to extend the Safeguard measure on certain steel products until 2026, as notified to the WTO, could lead to an even greater shortage of potentially more than 1.6 million tonnes of steel (especially HRC) in the EU due to some changes in quotas.

Sharper teeth in the Safeguard Review would have been desirable

It is to be welcomed that the concerns about the purely politically motivated EU Safeguard extension and the associated supply gaps, not only for HRC, are being publicised by other parties such as Assofermet. However, it would have been desirable if this had already happened during the Safeguard procedure. In other words, exactly where it would have mattered. Unfortunately, many associations had once again shown themselves to be quite tame.

Italian steel associations must exert influence on their government

However, it would be important for the Italian steel associations in particular to not only appeal to the general public (with the same old press releases, where only the date has been changed), but also to their head of government, Giorgia Meloni, and influence her not to become the queenmaker for Ursula von der Leyen for a second term in office. Instead, the Italian Prime Minister should actively speak out against the Brussels-based Queen von der Leyen and her mercantilist and bureaucratic style of administration.

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