European Commission gives boost to digitalisation in Social ID Cards and social security

The European Commission is carrying out a number of activities aimed at boosting digitalisation in the fields of social security and Social ID Cards.At a High Level Conference organised by DG Employment on 1st March, the European Commission presented the ongoing ESSPASS project, which is aimed at improving social security coordination within the EU.

At this same event, the EU social partners for the construction industry, FIEC and EFBWW, promoted the numerous benefits of sectoral Social ID Cards: better transparency, better visibility for main contractors, easier control for labour inspections, better respect of workers’ rights, fair mobility within the Internal Market. Best practices from the City of Copenhagen, Romania and Finland were presented.

FIEC and EFBWW now look forward to going to the next level and rolling out an ambitious project aimed at assessing the feasibility of interconnection of existing national schemes.



EU institutions agree on renovation target for public sector in new Energy Efficiency Directive

On 10th March, the Member States in the Council of the EU, negotiators from the European Parliament and the European Commission reached a provisional agreement on the proposal for a new Energy Efficiency Directive (EED).According to information from the lead negotiator in the European Parliament, rapporteur Niels Fuglsang (Denmark/S&D), the EU institutions agreed on a text that sets out binding targets for the EU to reduce final energy consumption by 11.7 percent of the expected energy use from 2020 to 2030 (“headline target”).

They also agreed on a specific obligation for the public sector to achieve an annual energy consumption reduction of 1.9%. In addition to this, Member States would be required to renovate each year at least 3% of the total floor area of buildings owned by public bodies. Public bodies will also need to systematically take into account energy efficiency requirements in their public procurement of products, services, buildings and works.

The agreement (text not yet available) also includes the first ever EU definition of “energy poverty”. The text is still up for approval by the Council and the Parliament.



Farewell to Maxime Verhagen as President of Koninklijke Bouwend Nederland

After 10 years at the head of Bouwend Nederland, the time has come for Maxime Verhagen to turn the page. Likewise the famous slogan of our Dutch member promoting the sector (‘De Bouw maakt het!’), we definitely can say that Maxime made it.In a recent podcast about the key moments of his presidency, he stressed in particular his great pride in having been a member of the construction family and the key spokesperson of this important sector for the economic activity of a country.  He warmly thanked also the members and the staff of Koninklijke Bouwend Nederland who worked by his side for the last decade.

On this occasion, we also wish to express our sincere gratitude at FIEC level to Maxime for his outstanding involvement not only at the head of our Dutch national construction federation, but also as FIEC Vice-President in charge of the Social Affairs during two mandates from 2014 to 2018 and also currently for a further third mandate.

Indeed, we are lucky to still have him on board as a FIEC Vice-President and thanks to his active role and valuable support, FIEC events could benefit from remarkable interventions of high-level European politicians. It is a pleasure and a real asset to have a convinced European at the head of one of our member federations.

To sum it up: “Gefeliciteerd Maxime met dit uitstekende voorzitterschap en de beste wensen!”.

We welcome Arno Visser as the new President of Koninklijke Bouwend Nederland.



A “Maintenance Book” for our bridges  – Eurobridge conference on 14/4/2023

In Europe, we have a bridge density of about 1 for every 5 kilometers of road. These bridges are the essential elements for the continuity of our road services. A damaged bridge can generate a full interruption lasting several months, even several years in some cases. These structures age and deteriorate significantly because of increased heavier trafic, of climate conditions, of obsolescence of safety standards.
A closed or even collapsed bridge can affect a whole local economy.Another important aspect is that bridges are above all a social “connection”. It is of upmost importance that those who have to take care of the maintenance of these structures are constantly aware of their condition, in order to be able to implement the necessary corrective actions. A “Maintenance Book” for every bridge could be envisaged, mentioning the quality and safety state of the structure, as well as all the undergone actions and the interventions needed.These are some of the issues that will be addressed during the forthcoming EUROBRIDGE 2023 conference that will take place in Brussels on 14th April.

Registration details are available on the following website: Colloque Le Pont Eurobridge 2023 program (



10th package of EU Sanctions against Russia

Following the new package of sanctions against Russia (the 10th package), on 28th February and 3rd March the European Commission updated the consolidated version of its FAQs on the implementation of Regulations 833/2014 and 269/2014. The update is published on the Commission webpage. This decision comes in response to the gravity of the continued Russian full-scale invasion and military aggression against Ukraine, which was launched last year (on 24 February 2022).The 10th package contains new listings plus trade and financial sanctions, including further export bans worth more than €11 billion euro, depriving the Russian economy of critical tech and industrial goods.

A map of the sanctions (listing the category of individuals, entities, goods and services) is available online.