Connecting Europe Conference 2017: transport stakeholders ready to fight for sustainable financing in the future

On 21 and 22 September, FIEC attended the annual Connecting Europe conference, organised in Tallinn, Estonia. The goal of this conference was to report on the achievements and added-value of the transport programme of the Connecting Europe Facility, discuss the possible improvements in terms of governance of  cross-border projects and debate the future funding and transport financing priorities.
On this occasion, Transport Ministers and Commissioner Violeta Bulc acknowledged the success of the Connecting Europe Facility and expressed their clear support for its continuation. Of course, the future EU budget will be constrained, so that financial instruments and blending mechanisms will be under pressure.
However, everybody recognised that the Connecting Europe Facility must keep granting money to those projects that need it most – in particular those with low and slow return on investment. 
MEP Karima Delli (photo), Chair of the TRAN Committee, also stressed that the added-value of the CEF transport programme needs to be more obvious for EU citizens.




European Vocational Skills Week 2017

This first European Vocational Skills Week took place on 5-9 December 2016 with events in Brussels and hundreds of activities in Member States, EFTA and EU candidate countries organised at national, regional and local levels. To capitalise on the success of this, the European Commission will organise a second European Vocational Skills Week on 20-24 November 2017.

This year the intention is to draw attention to the mobility of VET learners and quality apprenticeships, to boost partnerships between businesses and VET providers. It is also to put the spotlight on sectoral approaches to address skills mismatches and respond to rapidly changing skill needs, as a means of fostering innovation, competitiveness and excellence.



DIGITALEUROPE workshop Construction 4.0

On 17 October, DIGITALEUROPE will hold a “Digital in Practice” workshop on Construction 4.0. The speakers include Fulvia Raffaelli, Head of Unit, Clean Technologies and Products, DG GROW.  FIEC has worked closely with Ms Raffaelli on the Construction Products Regulation and is looking forward to a lively discussion with an interesting panel.  FIEC will be represented by its TEC President and President Elect, Kjetil Tonning.  Mr Tonning also chairs FIEC’s Working Group on Construction 4.0.




E-services card: Thumbs down in EP-EPP hearing on 27/9/2017

In this hearing, organised by the European Parliament’s EPP Group (http://www.eppgroup.eu/event/The-Services-Package—an-alternative-to-enforcement-action%3F), the 4 experts participating in the panel “E-card – Real added value or simply more bureaucracy?”, responded negatively to the question concerning real added value and considered the proposed e-card as being of little or no interest.
Announced in the programme as “Summary of the panel”, MEP Dariusz Rosati, shadow rapporteur of the proposed Directive, expressed the view that the proposed E-card offers some added value, addressing administrative obstacles and making the life of enterprises, in particular SMEs, easier. He was confident that it will be possible to improve the proposal, in order to address the concerns expressed.