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Government official: More flexible EU support needed for steel industry’s green transition

It is clear that the European Union needs its steel industry, but more flexible and more active support is needed for the industry's green transition, the state secretary for industry policy and technology said on Friday.

Gergely Fabian attended a European Commission working lunch in Brussels on the outlook of the bloc’s steel industry together with the representatives of other member states, a dozen European companies and the head of the European Steel Association. The EC was represented by Maros Sefcovic, executive vice-president for European Green Deal, interinstitutional relations and foresight, and Margrethe Vestager, executive vice-president for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age and competition.

Speaking to MTI after the meeting, Fabian said keeping steel production in Europe and specifically central and eastern Europe alive and transitioning to carbon-neutral green steel production were strategic goals.

The state secretary said Hungary’s increased industrial capacities also required steel.

The steel industry employs tens of thousands of people in central and eastern Europe, Fabian said, and cited the head of the European Steel Association as saying that every direct steel industry job adds seven more indirect jobs on the industry value chain.

The state secretary said that after Friday’s meeting it had become clear to the EC as well that more resources were needed to make the steel industry greener, and that these programmes needed to be streamlined so that they are easier for stakeholders to access.

Fabian said there were multiple types of EU resources that could be used to support the green transition, such as the modernisation and innovation funds.

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