Soil Monitoring Law: “Feedback period” open until 3 November
In July, the European Commission published a proposal for a “Soil Monitoring Law“. The proposal’s objective is to put in place a coherent soil monitoring framework for all soils across the EU and to improve soil health with a view to achieve healthy soils in 2050.The draft act is open for feedback until 3 November on the “Have your say” portal.
Martin Hojsik (Slovakia/Renew) will be the rapporteur for this proposal in the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).
President von der Leyen on EU Green Deal: “Finish this work”
Speaking about the European Green Deal on 13 September, in her annual “State of the Union” speech, European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, said that the EU “will keep supporting industry throughout this transition” and “finish this work“.Von der Leyen also said that there is need for developing an approach for each industrial ecosystem and announced the launch of a series of Clean Transition Dialogues with industry, starting from this month.
According to the Commission President, the core aim of these dialogues will be “to support every sector in building its business model for the decarbonisation of industry“.
“Eurodétachement” project : focus on posting of third country nationals
At the occasion of the meeting of the transnational focus group of the project “Eurodétachement”, the Social Partners of the construction sector, EFBWW and FIEC met in Lisbon, on 13 September, to present the main findings of their joint EU-project, “The Future of the European Labour Market in Construction” (FELM).After an introduction by the Portuguese Secretary of State for Labour, the participants discussed some issues related to the posting of third country national workers and exchanged good practices. Sharing the outcomes and the recommendations of the FELM project enabled to enlarge the discussion and to provide a European perspective.
SIDE-CIC project: first Steering Group meeting
In partnership with European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW), FIEC has recently started a new EU-funded project entitled “Social Identity Cards in Construction” (SIDE-CIC).The two-year project proposes a comprehensive mapping of current social identity card schemes in construction across the EU. It aims to assess opportunities, challenges, good practices and the feasibility of interconnectivity among existing schemes. The project will also identify best practices and discuss input for a possible framework in the area of sectoral social ID cards.
The first Steering Group meeting will be held on 4 October in Brussels where participants will discuss project objectives, planned activities and next meetings.
Commission proposed new Regulation to combat Late Payments
On 12 September, the European Commission presented several initiatives to address the needs of Europe’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the current economic environment. Among those initiatives is a new Late Payment Regulation (LPR) that will replace the existing Late Payment Directive.
Payment delays compromises the cash flow of SMEs and hamper the competitiveness and resilience of supply chains. Key provisions of the proposal include but not limited to:
- The introduction of a stricter maximum payment limit of 30 days.
- Payments to subcontractors in public procurement.
- Automatic compensation fees and redress measures to protect companies against bad payers.
- Obligation of Member States to designate national authorities responsible for enforcing the Regulation and with direct cooperation with the European Commission.
European Parliament approves text on Critical Raw Materials Act
On 14 September, the MEPs adopted their position of the proposal for a Regulation on the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) which aims to boost the supply of strategic raw materials, crucial to secure the EU’s transition to a sustainable, digital and sovereign future.The CRMA is important since the EU continues is still dependent on third countries for certain raw materials and since Russia’s war against Ukraine and China’s increasingly aggressive trade and industrial policies, these materials have also become a geopolitical factor.
The draft legislation was adopted with 515 votes to 34, with 28 abstentions. The European Parliament will now enter into negotiations with the Spanish Presidency of the Council in order to reach a first reading agreement.
State of the Union, President von der Leyen: “The future of Europe will be built with and by our Social Partners“
During her annual speech “State of the Union” delievered on 13 September in Strasburg, European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, addressed key social issues such as skills and labour shortages to remark the importance of the EU Social Dialogue.Here are the main takeaways:
- The need to focus on skills to endorse the European Green Deal.
- Skills and labour shortages are a major challenge for the European industry: labour shortages are at a record level and will impact European competitiveness. This cannot be ignored and this must be a drive to improve access to the labour #market, especially for young people and women, and for qualified migrants. Recognition of the importance of Social Partners and the need to work together to adress the new challenges facing the labour market. Therefore, President Von der Leyen announced a new “Social Partner Summit” at Val Duchesse (Belgium) in 2024, during the EU Belgian Presidency.