Winter Package more than just energy efficiency

On 30 November, the Commission will publish its Winter Package, which will be important for the construction industry.  Originally focused on the revision of the Energy Performance in Buildings and Energy Efficiency 

Directives (EPBD and EED), this package appears to have become wider and has been re-branded, with new subjects tackled, such as the digitalisation of construction, new skills for construction workers and even – it is rumoured – a statement on the revision of the Construction Products Regulation. FIEC has already discussed the starting points for a position on the proposal for a revision of the EPBD and will analyse the entire package – reported to contain 8 documents in total – so that its sub-commissions ECO, SOC and TEC, as well as the Working Group on BIM, can discuss the key elements as soon as possible. 



FIEC position on “EFSI 2.0”

FIEC revealed a few days ago its position on the proposal to extend the duration and capacity of the Investment Plan for Europe, also called the “Juncker Plan” (see also FIEC article in the magasine Construction Europe on this issue).  FIEC welcomes this reinforcement as a very good signal for EU and international private investors, and hence, very good news for the financing of the most needed EU infrastructure and energy efficiency projects.  However, it also gives some warnings on a few points: the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) should not be reinforced at the expense of the existing EU budget line in favour of transport, energy and broadband infrastructure, the “Connecting Europe Facility” (CEF); such investment for growth should not be considered as pure expenditure as regards the calculation of public deficit; the list of priority sectors for investment should remain stable, with realistic targets, in particular with regard to the “climate action” target.



European Semester Autumn Package



The Commission has set out its views on the EU’s economic and social priorities for the year ahead, building on the guidance from President Juncker’s 2016 State of the Union address and on the latest economic data from the Commission’s Autumn 2016 Forecast.

This package starts the 2017 cycle of economic governance, the so-called European Semester. The Draft Joint Employment Report confirms that the economic recovery has been accompanied by job creation and lower unemployment, partly as a result of recent structural reforms in a number of Member States.




New FIEC / EFBWW joint letter against the “EU Services Card”

Following the latest meeting of the social partners with the services of the European Commission in charge of the “EU Services Card”, on 14th November (see FIEC newsletter dated 15/11/2016), FIEC and EFBWW sent a new joint letter to the Commission to confirm their previous assessment that the proposed “EU Services Card” does not meet the needs of the construction sector. On the contrary, it is likely to generate additional problems, exacerbate cross-border abuse and disrupt the efficiency of the daily work of labour inspectorates. Consequently, the social partners urge again the Commission to refrain from introducing a legislative proposal on this matter for the construction industry.