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Restructuring of the steel industry in Central and Eastern European countries

The European Commission has adopted a communication which establishes the methodology for the EU's new approach to promote the restructuring of the steel industry in Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs). The aim of restructuring is to establish a viable and competiti...
The European Commission has adopted a communication which establishes the methodology for the EU's new approach to promote the restructuring of the steel industry in Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs). The aim of restructuring is to establish a viable and competitive steel industry in the CEECs and to address existing problems of over-capacity and lack of competitiveness in the industry.

The Commission proposes both direct support for restructuring, and indirect support through acting as a catalyst to stimulate investment from both international financial institutions and the private sector. These actions would involve:

- Assistance with the definition and funding of accompanying social and regional measures necessary for the success of the restructuring process;
- Improvement of the investment climate;
- Boosting competitiveness and promoting access to financial resources;
- Promoting dialogue between the CEECs and the EU through the establishment of a multilateral forum on the steel industry in Central and Eastern Europe.

In order for CEECs to be eligible for EU assistance the following requirements have to be fulfilled:

- Compliance with European agreements;
- Compliance with the priorities specified in the Accession Partnerships;
- Adoption of a sound and comprehensive steel restructuring programme;
- Strict compliance with state aid rules.

The communication should form the basis for further discussions with the Applicant Countries in the framework of the Accession Partnerships, as well as with international financial institutions. On this basis, the first meeting of the multilateral forum on the steel industry in Central and Eastern Europe could take place in the second quarter of 1998.
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