Efficiency, environment, outranking, PROMETHEE, steel industry.
Steel is one of the most multifunctional and most adaptable materials, and the iron and steel sector is a strategically important part of European industry. Steel products are vital for other industries including the construction to automotive sectors. Currently, the steel-producing companies in the EU face strong competition from non-EU (mainly Asian) countries, which exerts pressure on their efficiency. In this paper, we explore the efficiency of the steel sectors of EU members using the PROMETHEE method, which provides a clear graphical representation of the results. The aim is to compare the efficiency of the EU steel industries. We identify the input and output factors whose values differ by countries (e.g. price of input materials imported from outside the EU or the final product sale prices significantly influence the steel sectors, but their values are more or less identical for all EU countries). In our study, we involved three inputs (labour costs in the sector, number of employees and energy consumption) and three outputs (value of production, costs of emissions trading and net export). The results show that only 3 of 19 explored sectors are technically efficient (Bulgaria, Slovakia and Belgium). In line with Ishizaka et al. (2018), all the sectors are also classified into four groups: efficient, effective, inefficient and frugal.