Andy BILLINGHAM, Iveta FIALOVA
Executives from Pittsburgh in Kosice
There is a two-day working visit to Kosice going on this week (July 16-17) involving United States Steel Corporation President and Chief Operating Officer Mario
Longhi together with Senior Vice President - European Operations and Global Safety and President - U. S. Steel Kosice George F. Babcoke, David J. Rintoul, who after completing his work
in the position of U. S. Steel Kosice President has returned to the USA to take up the newly-created position of Vice President - Innovation and Continuous Improvement, as well as Vice
President and Chief Procurement Officer Christine S. Breves and Senior Vice President & Chief Risk Officer Larry T. Brockway. They have had meetings with the management of
U. S. Steel Kosice, and they have looked round several primary operations at the steelworks. Yesterday the representatives of the Corporation were received by City Mayor Richard Rasi,
and at the Historical Town Hall they entered their names in the Kosice Chronicle, which is a record of past and present-day events in the city.
U. S. Steel Kosice reacts to the Steel Action Plan
We appreciate the fact that the European Commission has presented an &qout;action plan&qout; designed to address the challenges facing the European steel
industry. It is obvious the EC understands that these challenges pose significant social and economic consequences for the EU. We are talking about 360,000 current jobs in the European steel
industry. The Steel Action Plan is a sign the EU policy makers have noticed the urgent need to improve the alarming situation in the EU manufacturing sector. The steel industry is an essential
part of the European economy. It builds the foundation for manufacturing, innovation and value creation in Europe, and it has been historically the backbone of European economic
The Steel industry in Slovakia and in the other V4 countries is in an even more challenging position because we have to compete with countries which are not members of the EU and do not have the
same environmental and operational limitations as we have. The Steel Action Plan has to recognize and make allowances for the significant competitive disadvantage that Slovakia and the other V4
countries face against steel producers in these bordering countries that are not in the EU and who do not have to operate within such constraints.
We strongly believe that the Steel Action Plan is the right step forward, but the most important point is going to be the right and timely implementation. On emissions trading and climate policy,
the Commission has said it will ensure that the EU's 2030 climate framework will not unfairly handicap the steel industry. We appreciate that. However, in this area we would like to see more
specific tasks included in the Steel Action Plan.
Addressing these challenges, in combination with measures to help restore demand, is the only solution for improving the long term prospects for the steel industry. We see the Steel Action Plan
as the first important step to re-shaping EU policies into a real, integrated industrial plan for economic growth, jobs creation and innovation, and also one which can contribute to achieving
energy and climate objectives. We also hope that the Plan is the first of many steps in securing the Commission's objective of industry achieving a 20% contribution towards the EU's GDP by 2020.
Michal Pinter is Vice President of the EESC employers group
Michal Pinter, U. S. Steel Kosice Director of SR Government and EU Relations and board member of the Employers' Union of the Republic, was last week
appointed Vice President of the EESC Employers Group (European Economic and Social Committee), which is a consultative body for the European institutions - the European Commission, the Council of
Europe and the European Parliament. The Employers' Group has 117 members, representing companies and trade associations doing business in industry, commerce, services and agriculture in all 28 EU
member states. The representative of the Slovak Republic holds this post for the first time since our accession to the European Union.