Silica dust : construction employers send another clear message to the MEPs
Today the EMPL Committee of the European Parliament will vote on a revision of the “Carcinogens” Directive 2004/37/EC which could introduce a harmonised binding limit value for exposure to “Respirable Crystalline Silica” (RCS). FIEC, together wih EBC, has undertaken joint lobbying actions in order to ask that RCS be included in a different legislative framework, namely the “Chemical agents” Directive, and, on the other hand, that a limit value, if any, should be in line with the one agreed by the Advisory Committee on Safety and Health. In a new joint position both organisations have launched a new appeal to the MEPs : any limit value below the one proposed by the Commission would have dramatic economic consequences in the construction industry, in particular for SMEs, without providing a corresponding increase in the level of protection for workers.
STEP-2-SPORT final event
An EU funded project supporting the refurbishment of existing sports buildings to Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) levels, through step by step renovation, has concluded with an event in Brussels. FIEC’s Member Federation the Bulgarian Construction Chamber was a partner in the project. The event was an opportunity to disseminate the results as well as an occasion to network with professionals in the field of energy efficiency in buildings.
The Connecting Europe Facility continues doing the job
Earlier this month, the European Commission launched a new call for proposals combining €1 billion of grants from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) with financing from public financial institutions, the private sector or, for the first time, the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe and a top priority for the Juncker Commission. This call aims at boosting transport infrastructure projects. Selected projects must contribute to sustainable and innovative transportation along the Trans-European Transport Network. The call will have two deadlines for submission of proposals: 14th July 2017 and 30th November 2017.Shortly after this announcement, EU Member States approved a proposal from the Commission to invest €444 million in 18 energy infrastructure projects of common interest (PCIs), following a second call for proposals issued by the Commission in 2016 under the CEF. Seven projects in the electricity sector have been allocated support of €176 million, ten in the gas sector will receive €228 million and €40 million will go to a smart grid project. The support relates to construction works in five of the eighteen projects (€350 million) and to studies in the other thirteen (€94 million).Under the CEF, a total of €5.35 billion has been allocated to the Trans-European Energy Network for the period 2014-2020.In its answer to the Commission’s mid-term evaluation of the CEF, FIEC emphasised the need for EU investment in transport, energy and telecommunication infrastructure, which makes the contribution of CEF extremely important. Therefore, FIEC even called for increasing the CEF budget in the next multi-annual financial programming period.
The European Construction Sector Observatory (ECSO) now has 20 Country Fact Sheets and 28 Policy Measures Fact Sheets
According to the Commission, “ECSO is helping the construction value chain to confront the economic and social challenges that impact the construction industry. It aims to inform European policymakers and industry stakeholders on the market conditions and policy developments through regular analysis and comparative assessments. Visit the ECSO website and gain access to a wide range of industry data and analysis, from evidence on how Member States are performing in relation to the five thematic objectives of the Consctruction 2020 Strategy, to insights on national policy developments, trends and experiences.”