A new Chair for the FIEC working group “Housing”
On Monday 6th March 2017, the FIEC working group “Housing” met under the new chairmanship of Mr. José-Michaël Chenu, Strategic Marketing and Urban Development Director of VINCI and supported by the French Building Federation (Fédération Française du Bâtiment).Amongst the items on the agenda of the new Chair’s first meeting: housing construction costs, national measures to tackle housing shortage (in large cities) and financing of energy efficiency in buildings.FIEC will collect more information on these issues with the aim of developing strategic orientations for decision-makers.
EU Semester Winter Package : review of national progress towards economic and social priorities
The European Commission recently published its annual analysis of the economic and social situation in the Member States, including an assessment of remaining imbalances. This assessment of Member States’ progress is part of the annual cycle of economic policy coordination at EU level, known as the Winter Package of the European Semester. The package follows the economic forecast released previously.
The analysis of the Country Reports shows that in most Member States, economic recovery has contributed to declining unemployment rates, although these are still above pre-crisis levels and that large current account deficits have been corrected, and sizeable stocks of private, public and external debt have started falling as a share of Gross Domestic Product.
However, a number of risks remain: high current account surpluses are only being adjusted to a limited extent, while large stocks of non-performing loans weigh on the financial sector in some Member States.
Construction 2020 Roadmap
At the end of the High-Level-Forum (HLF) yesterday, 6/3/2017, Mrs. Lowri Evans, Director General of DG GROW presented the Commission roadmap for construction. Some extracts:
- Construction is a key industry and remains high on the political agenda.
- Commission wants the HLF/ the construction sector to do more. ACCELERATION is key.
- The HLF can make a big difference, in particular in the Energy Union and its flagship initiative on clean energy in buildings.
- This needs a competitive construction sector, pushing forward to reduce building costs and improving the overall quality of infrastructure.
Other key issues addressed are:
- digitalisation/ BIM
- resource efficiency / recycling
- skilled workforce
- improving Single Market in construction products and services
- the European Investment Plan
European Chemicals Agency Report 2016
The annual evaluation report from the European Chemicals Agency has identified that important safety information on chemicals is still missing, with many registration dossiers incomplete. ECHA’s Executive Director Geert Dancet urges companies to implement the recommendations and ensure that they address substances that are shortlisted for regulatory action.