Rome — The Italian aluminium association Centroal and the European Aluminium Association (EAA) yesterday hosted a landmark Roundtable in Rome under patronage of the Italian Presidency of the EU Council: „A New Deal for European Industrial Renaissance: Concrete Measures towards a Competitive and Sustainable Economy“. 200 participants including students and leading political personalities from the European industry, political institutions and culture were in attendance.
Some of the aluminium industry’s most prominent customers including Ferrari and Nespresso convened with European and Italian policymakers to discuss the soaring demand for aluminium as a key driver of a visionary, innovative and resource-efficient Europe. Participants also exchanged views on policy solutions that will allow the EU to better support producers in meeting customer needs.
Testifying to the unique benefits of aluminium in buildings, world-renowned architect Massimiliano Fuksas recounted: „For many years now we have developed and refined techniques to translate complex shapes into optimised building geometries … It’s about ethics. Aluminium is not only a versatile material to use in innovative buildings, it is infinitely recyclable“.
On the importance of streamlining competitiveness goals into EU policy, Claudio De Vincenti, Italian Vice-Minister for Economic Development commented: „The Italian Government committed during this six-month presidency of the EU to ensuring that the European Council takes competitiveness as a benchmark against which to measure all European policies, using already available tools to assess impact on competitiveness and which are also applicable to the aluminium sector.“ He added: „Aluminium is of fundamental importance as an input for a large number of European and Italian industries that combine the virtues of tradition and the potential of the future“.
Head of Unit for Raw Materials, Metals, Minerals and Forest Based Industries in the European Commission’s DG Enterprise, Mattia Pellegrini arguued: „Aluminium has huge potential to help Europe achieving its long-term economic and sustainability objectives. However, a 2013 study from the European Commission showed that regulatory costs jeopardise the competitiveness of the aluminium in Europe. To help this innovative sector regaining competitiveness, our Roadmap for an Industrial Renaissance will streamline industrial objectives into all policy areas, from climate and energy, to trade, employment and competition.“
On the unique challenges facing the industry, Chairman of the EAA Roeland Baan concluded: „Aluminium sees a growing demand but decreasing production, this is the European paradox. And for what reason? Essentially due to regulatory costs. It is necessary to implement policies at EU level that offset the burden of costs for the most exposed energy-intensive industries that cannot pass through the cost of climate and energy policies. Equally important is to reduce the increasing exports of aluminium scrap that have to be considered as leakage of Europe’s energy bank. This is crucial for Europe to achieve energy independence.“
Source: European Aluminium Association