Agreement reached on proposed Horizon Europe Regulation

A provisional agreement reached under the German EU Council Presidency, between the Council and the European Parliament on the proposed regulation establishing Horizon Europe, means that we are a step closer to the start of this multi-annual EU framework programme for research and innovation for the years 2021 to 2027.  The programme will be delivered under the responsibility of a number of public-private-partnerships, which are currently being finalised, with Memoranda of Understanding expected to be signed early in 2021.  Further information can be found by following the link below.


Commission publishes Mobility Strategy

On 9 December, the European Commission published its Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy which defines ten flagship areas that will guide the institution’s work in the coming years. Relevant issues for the construction sector are the envisaged massive deployment of charging and fuelling infrastructure, the completion of the trans-European transport network, the doubling of cycling infrastructure and the construction of missing links in multimodal infrastructure. Importantly, the Commission poposes to review the European economic governance framework to facilitate investment in infrastructure projects of European importance. With regard to transport safety, the Commission points out, priority should be given to investment in ageing structures.



Coordination of social security systems – no white smoke before New Year…

The hopes of the German EU Council Presidency to reach an agreement on the revision of the coordination of the social security systems before the end of the year have vanished.

During the latest interinstitutional meeting (trilogue), which took place on Monday 7 December, the European Parliament and the Council failed again to agree on the 3 remaining sensitive issues.

On the issue of prior notification (to posting), it is said that co-legislators have discussed the option of a three-day horizontal exemption (as opposed to the 10 or even 15 days initially envisaged by the German Presidency), with derogation from the exemption for some sectors (such as construction). It is also said that co-legislators have discussed a possible reference period for this time-based exemption, in order to avoid fraudulent conduct such as posting workers for multiple short-term assignments in order to benefit from the exemption from the requirement to provide notification.

As far as the construction sector is concerned, FIEC is opposed to any exemption from the prior notification procedure, in order to avoid abuse.

The issues of export of unemployment benefits for frontier workers and pluriactivity were reportedly not even addressed.

The dossier will certainly be passed on to the Portuguese EU Council Presidency, which will take over in the first half of 2021

Confidence & hope for the New Year…

Dear Readers

At the end of this difficult year, more than ever we wish you all good health and a Happy New Year 2021! We are looking forward to keeping you up to date as usual next year with our newsletter, starting on 5 January.

With best wishes from the FIEC team!