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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

The metal industries process non-ferrous metals such as aluminium, copper, and zinc; and ferrous materials such as steel. Both sectors are very important to the EU’s economy, competitiveness, and industrial development. The European Commission aims to ensure that EU legislation allows the sectors to achieve a high level of competitiveness, and encourages them to participate in meeting the EU’s energy efficiency and environmental goals.

Why metal industries are important

  • Link to other sectors steel and non-ferrous materials supply a number of downstream industries such as construction, automotive, mechanical and electrical engineering, aerospace, and medical devices.
  • EU economy – the sectors are important for the EU’s economy in terms of employment and production added value. Metals can be recycled endlessly without any quality loss. This leads to significant savings of raw materials and energy, and reductions in CO2 emissions.

Non-ferrous metals

Non-ferrous metals such as aluminium, copper, or zinc are important for the EU’s manufacturing industries, sustainability, and economic growth. They are irreplaceable for many products in the automotive, aerospace, and construction sectors. More on non-ferrous metals.


The steel industry has long held a strategic place in the EU economy by fostering innovation, growth, and employment. The Commission is working on helping the industry face the downturn in steel demand after the economic crisis. More on steel.


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