FIEC meets EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova


A delegation from FIEC led by President Thomas Bauer and Vice-Presidents Lubomir Katchamakov, José-Michaël Chenu and Philip Crampton recently met the Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Lilyana Pavlova.

The EIB is becoming a “climate bank” and is planning in the coming years to direct more than 50% of its lending to priority areas related to climate and environmental sustainability investments.

FIEC and the EIB already cooperate in the EU platform on the Taxonomy for sustainable investments.
As regards the main areas of intervention of the EIB that are of interest for the construction industry the following ones were addressed during the discussion :

  • Decarbonisation of construction machinery and building techniques
  • Digitalisation of the construction process
  • Innovation and Circular Economy.

FIEC and the EIB agreed to organise these exchanges on a regular basis.


DigiPLACE Industry Week event: recording available


If you missed the DigiPLACE event that was held on 16 March, under the umbrella of EU Industry Week, it is not too late to hear the presentations.  Towards a Reference Architecture Framework for a Digital Industry Platform for the construction industry can be seen in full, by looking at the latest news page on the DigiPLACE website (link below). Amongst the speakers, Fulvia Raffaelli, Head of Unit for Construction in DG GROW, European Commission, emphasised the project’s link with the Renovation Wave and the Horizon Europe programme.  As well as experts from the project’s consortium, a panel of industry and public sector representatives gave their views on what the platform should do and who should manage it.  The event was moderated by FIEC’s Director of Technical and Environmental Affairs, Sue Arundale.

SURE instrument – EU support to short-time working schemes continues

On 16 March, the European Commission announced the payment of €9 billion to 7 Member States under the 5th financial tranche of the SURE instrument to support national short-time working schemes in response to the coronavirus.
For the first time, the Czech Republic received €1 billion (out of a total of €2 billion expected), Spain €2.87 billion (out of €21.3 billion), Croatia €510 million (of €1 billion), Italy €3.87 billion (of €27.4 billion), Lithuania €302 million (of €602 million), Malta €123 million (of €244 million) and Slovakia €330 million (of €631 million).
To date, 16 Member States have received a total of €62.5 billion under the SURE instrument. The Commission hopes to raise more than €25 billion in 2021 by issuing bonds.
In total, 19 Member States have made requests from the SURE instrument to the tune of €90.6 billion, with a recent application from Estonia.
Faced with successive waves of coronavirus infections and the restrictive health measures they generate, there are increasing calls, particularly from trade unions, to extend the instrument beyond the time originally planed.



A dream of Spring – Progress on the International Procurement Instrument?

Based on the work of the previous presidencies, the Portuguese Council Presidency has now brought some life into the Council’s work on the International Procurement Instrument (IPI). Already on the table since 2012, the IPI aims at opening up international procurement markets by enabling the EU to take restrictive measures regarding the access to its own market. Looking at these developments, the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade exchanged on the file in a session last week highlighting the urgent need for progress and discussing thresholds and the possibility of excluding foreign bidders.