Juncker Commission : What social legacy ?

When President Juncker started his mandate he indicated amongst his priorities “I want Europe to be dedicated to being triple-A on social issues”.Getting closer to the end of the legislature it is time for the Commission to take stock of the work undertaken during the last 4 years and an overview of the achievements and of the pending initiatives on social matters has recently been presented (available by clicking on the button “Read more” below).

The list of initiatives is quite long, ranging from the adoption of the new “Posting” Directive and several revisions of the “Carcinogens” Directive, through the establishment of the “Pillar of Social Rights”, the setting up of the “EU Platform against Undeclared Work” and the launching of the “Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills” initiative, in which FIEC will take part from the beginning of January 2019.

Whether from FIEC’s perspective such initiatives effectively provided the EU with a triple-A on social issues remains on open question at this stage. On the one hand because some important initiatives are still under discussion (for example the revision of the “Social Security” Regulations or the proposal for setting up a “European Labour Authority”) but mainly because contractors are pragmatic people and they will give their assessment according to the effective impact of such initiatives on the field and not just on paper.



Bringing buildings into the Circular Economy

A conference will be held on 18 December on sustainable buildings.  Part of the programme will be focused on the European Commission’s voluntary assessment framework for the environmental performance of buildings – Level(s) – which is currently being tested. FIEC will participate in a panel discussion about the future of EU Sustainable Buildings Policy.  The event has proved to be very popular, with no places left.  However, it will be livestreamed.  More information below.



Outcomes of the Transport Council Meeting

The Council of the European Union held a meeting on 3rd December, regarding transport issues. Several texts were considered:

– the Connecting Europe Facility for 2021-2027 : the Council gave a “partial” general approach. This approach largely follows the Commission’s proposal in June. It proposes the same budget, the same co-financing rates, and the same objectives as the 2014-2020 period. It is much less ambitious than the European Parliament’s position.

the revision of the Road Infrastructure Safety Management (RISM) Directive: the Council gave a general approach in which the accountability of the Member States decreases. Indeed, the European Parliament has proposed to add bridges and tunnels, as well as the structural performance of roads and infrastructure, in order to ensure a better assessment of these. The Council came back on these and proposes a lighter version.

– the revision of the “driving times & tachographs” Regulation : the Council gave a general approach in which it followed the FIEC position by inserting “vehicles used for the delivery of ready mixed-concrete” in the list of exceptions. These vehicles should be excluded from the scope of the “driving times” Regulation if the Council’s position is followed. It is good news for the construction sector.