* Calls on Commission to deliver action plan quickly
* Struggling steel plants should be monitored - MEPs
By Stephen Eisenhammer
LONDON, Dec 13 The European Parliament passed a
resolution on Thursday calling on the EU Commission to urgently
help the region's flailing steel industry which is struggling
against falling demand and high operation costs.
With supply outstripping demand by 30 percent, plants across
Europe have been shut in the past few years and more are
threatened in France and Italy, raising fears of extensive job
losses and putting pressure on governments to intervene.
The Strasbourg-based parliament passed by a large majority a
resolution urging the Commission, the executive arm of the
European Union to consider the steel industry within EU state
aid rules, it said on its website.
It also said that threatened plants should be monitored to
MEPs listed 20 threatened plants that needed to be watched,
including Italy's largest stainless steel factory, Acciai
Speciali Terni, owned by Germany's ThyssenKrupp.
The parliament also supported the action plan for the steel
industry promised by the Commissioner for Industry, Antonio
Tajani, which is set to be delivered in June 2013.
"MEPs welcome the Commission's promise to deliver an action
plan for the steel sector by June 2013 but stress the need to
have it as soon as possible," the European Parliament said.
The plan, which is being devised with steel industry leaders
aims to resolve problems such as high energy costs, access to
raw materials and skills shortages.
The resolution was adopted with 351 votes in favour, 125
against and 34 abstentions.
EU steel industry body Eurofer, which has long lobbied for
greater governmental support for the sector, welcomed the
"We are very happy that they acknowledged the importance our
industry has for Europe and that they call on the Commission and
the member states to support the industry and to keep it in
Europe," Bernd Overmaat, the spokesman for the group, told
(Editing by James Jukwey)