Ukraine : Looking ahead for reconstruction

On 4th May an intense and important meeting took place between FIEC, representatives of our Ukrainian member federation CBU and local authorities. Despite the still extremely critic situation the willingness is to look ahead and already start preparing the post-war phase.
At the moment our priority is peace, but afterwards we will need to rebuild a new country from scratch” said Lev Partskhaladze, President of CBU.
The post-war needs are huge : specialised equipment for dismantling, processing and disposal of construction waste; temporary housing structures; re-design of affected areas; machineries, products, expertise; capacity building in planning and development; etc.
FIEC is ready to play a leading role in coordinating the reconstruction assistance and a dedicated Task Force in cooperation with the EIC is being set up

EU moves closer to banning Russian oil

EU governments moved closer  to agreeing on a sixth package of sanctions against Russia that includes a ban on buying Russian oil. According to the French presidency, “The Council is united on the need to adopt a 6th sanctions package,” and “very significant progress has been made on most of the measures.”However, further talks are scheduled to discuss how to ensure countries most dependent on Russian energy can cope. More specifically, how to secure oil supplies to landlocked countries such as Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, which all depend heavily on Russian crude delivered via Soviet-era pipelines and face a challenge to secure alternative sources.

Initially, all EU Member States would stop buying Russian crude within six months and Russian refined products by the end of the year. The tweaked proposal will give the aforementioned countries up until 2024 to stop buying Russian oil. The transition period before banning EU shipping services from transporting Russian oil has been extended to three months to address concerns raised by Southeastern European countries.

The impact of these sanctions on EU industry, including construction, should be carefully assessed as several companies are already having difficulties coping with increasing energy prices.


French Council Presidency transmits first draft compromise proposal on EPBD to Member States

On Tuesday 3 May, the French EU Council Presidency transmitted to the Member States a first draft compromise on the Commission proposal on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (recast). The French document does not change the objective of requiring the on-site energy consumption to be completely covered by renewable energy from 2030 but includes a specific provision on “zero-emission buildings” by reintroducing, in a modified version, a previous provision that the European Commission had deleted in its proposal.With this new provision, Member States would be required to take the necessary measures to ensure that the energy consumption and operational greenhouse gas emissions of a new or renovated zero-emission building each comply with a maximum threshold set at Member State level in their building renovation plans. Member States could decide to adjust both thresholds for renovated buildings. They should also ensure that a zero-emission building does not result in on-site carbon emissions from fossil fuels.

In addition, the French Presidency asks to reduce the proposed obligations to install sustainable mobility infrastructure as well as to modify some of the deadlines in the original text. Thus, the deadline for Member States to introduce a renovation passport system would be postponed to 31 December 2025, one year later than in the Commission’s proposal. The Presidency also considers that the validity of energy performance certificates should not exceed 10 years, as opposed to 5 years in the Commission’s proposal. In addition, it is asked to bring forward by two years (from 2027 to 2025) the deadline from which EU countries could no longer provide financial incentives for the installation of fossil fuel boilers.

EU Skills Profile Tool in Ukrainian!

The European Commission has launched a Ukrainian version of the EU Skills Profile Tool for Third Country Nationals. The Tool will make it easier for people fleeing Russian’s invasion of Ukraine to map their skills and find jobs and other opportunities. This will help the integration of people arriving from Ukraine into the EU labour markets and wider society.

The EU Skills Profile Tool, in the form of a questionnaire, is already available in 31 languages.

Many organisations that offer assistance to refugees and migrants use it to conduct interviews to record individuals’ skills, qualifications and experience. As a follow-up, the refugees can get advice on next steps towards jobs or learning, for example on the recognition of foreign diplomas or language courses.

Since 2019, 40.000 people have made a skills profile via the Tool.