EU Construction-friendly deal on “Nature Restoration Law”
On 9 November, EU negotiatiors met for a final political “trilogue” meeting on the 2022 proposal for a Regulation on nature restoration (“Nature Restoration Law“) and reached a provisional agreement on the proposal.The result is a success from FIEC’s point of view as the text foresees an exemption possibility from the ‘deterioration obligation’ and from the obligation to ensure that there is no net loss of urban green space in ‘urban ecosystems’.
Most importantly, the text allows Member States to “take into account their diverse social, economic and cultural requirements, regional and local characteristics and population density, including the specific situation of outermost regions“, when establishing their nature restoration plans.
The final legal text is not available yet.
European Commission presents “European Wind Power Action Plan”
On 24 October, the European Commission put forward a new Action Plan for European Wind Power.According to the Commission, it is now “doubling down on our efforts to accelerate deployment through increased predictability and faster permitting” as, despite recent progress, “more should be done to support the European wind sector“.
The action plan includes additional actions to address the challenges identified.
These measures are structured into 6 key pillars: (i) acceleration of deployment through increased predictability and faster permitting, (ii) improved auction design, (iii) access to finance (iv) creating a fair and competitive international environment, (v) skills and (vi) industry engagement and Member State commitments.
The action plan is good news for bigger contractors offering services for the planning and construction of wind power plants in the EU.
Germany adopts package to speed up rollout of new infrastructure projects
The package includes measures to automatically approve certain applications for infrastructure projects if the relevant authority does not respond in time.
In addition, the package aims to make the best use of EU rules to facilitate the deployment of infrastructure in the country. The package also mentions BIM (Building Information Modeling) as a promising tool to make planning and construction more digital.
FIEC’s German member Hauptverband der Deutschen Bauindustrie welcomed the package but said it would one-sidedly focus on railway infrastructure instead of also taking into account other transport infrastructure, such as roads and highways.
“We also need to make significant progress in the maintenance and renovation of bridges“, Tim-Oliver Müller, Bauindustrie‘s Managing Director, said in his statement.
ECTP Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda 2030
The ECTP (European Construction Technology Platform), of which FIEC is a member, released its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) 2030. You can download the full document here and its Executive Summary here.This SRIA identifies and describes the future R&I priorities for developing and rolling-out the solutions that will help taking up the societal, environmental, industrial, and technological challenges faced by the industry and the built environment. The aim is to ensure that the construction sector will, in the long-term, secure its competitiveness and sustainability, whilst the built environment will provide secure, safe, and smart living places for all citizens in Europe.
To achieve this three objectives are set by 2030:
- Objective 1: a resilient, decarbonised, adaptative and regenerative built environment,
- Objective 2: an enriching, inclusive and health-improving built environment,
- Objective 3: a competitive, digitalised, and circular value chain.
EU-China Dialogue: Commissioner Breton in China to discuss digital and industry files
On Friday 10 November, Commissioner Breton was in Beijing to discuss Europe’s de-risking agenda and engage on major digital and industry files. The mission aims at reaffirming the EU’s intention to protect its strategic interests and promote its value-based vision for the development of key technologies.
Commissioner Breton advocated for a fair treatment for EU companies operating in China, in terms of market access, access to standardisation bodies, as well as to public procurement.
In a context of increasing local production overcapacities, he will also plead for China to act responsibly when it comes to global supply chains, in particular those related to the green and digital transitions.
SOKA BAU: “Europe Day of the German Construction Industry”
On 8 November FIEC joined the “Europe Day of the German Construction Industry 2023“, organised by SOKA BAU in Brussels.
With inspiring interviews and talks on the “Good prospects for Europe’s vocational qualification“, the event is contributing to the initiatives launched for the European Year of Skills and promoting talent scouting and education opportunities in the construction industry and the relevant support provided to the sector at EU level.
Among the guests invited on stage and the keynote speakers were the Belgian goalkeeping legend Jean-Marie Pfaff, the German World champion bricklayer Pierre Holze, the Executive Director at CEDEFOP Juergen Siebel.
For decades, dual vocational training in Germany has proven to be a success factor for the business location. Many countries have long since taken inspiration from it. With collectively financed vocational training, the Social Partners of the German construction industry have developed a pioneering model that offers young people excellent conditions for their entry into working life.