The Green Deal

“This is Europe’s man on the moon moment”  said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen as she launched the EU Green Deal last week.  The Deal aims to make Europe the first carbon neutral continent and the communication will be followed up by a number of other proposals, by as early as March.  These will include the new Circular Economy Action Plan.  Reacting to the communication, FIEC President Kjetil Tonning said “as contractors, we are committed to sustainable construction”. The construction sector will play a pivotal role in achieving Mrs von der Leyen’s pledges, which will be delivered via “50 actions for 2050”. In particular, renovation has been highlighted and this answers a long-standing call from FIEC, which has long advocated for an increase in the annual building renovation rate across the EU.



BIM-SPEED partners meet in Valladolid

BIM-SPEED is an EU funded research project, which is creating BIM tools for the renovation of residential buildings. The project has been running for just over a year.  FIEC will eventually produce guidelines based on the findings of the project, for the use of BIM in renovation.  This work will be done towards the latter stages of the project. In the meantime, partners met last week to discuss progress. You can join the stakeholder community, or simply find out more by visiting the website below.

50 Housing Solutions for the Locked Out

On 11 December 2019, FIEC attended a conference in the European Parliament organised by the Housing Solutions Platform. Discussions focused on the need to increase European and national efforts with regards to social housing. The participants stressed the need for public investments in social housing. Increasing the housing stock by building new houses is essential but also the renovation of existing buildings is crucial to ensure energy-efficient and quality housing.

Being a purely national competence, the EU’s room for manoeuvre regarding housing policies is limited. However, a representative from the European Commission illustrated the link between housing and the EU’s regional funds and InvestEU. Similarly, the upcoming Just Transition Fund might be linked to social housing as well. Finally, figuring in the European Pillar of Social Rights, social housing will be addressed in an upcoming action plan by the European Commission.

Commissioner Schmit announces EU instrument introducing minimum wage

The new Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights announced that he will present his proposal for an EU minimum wage framework on 14th January 2020, launching at the same time a first wave of consultation. The second round of discussions will take place in April.
As regards to the legal basis for the establishment of such a framework, the Commission legal services are looking at article 153 of the TFEU, which refers to the role of the EU in supporting member states to improve working conditions. A Directive would be favoured by the European Commission.
Well aware that several countries are reluctant to such initiative, Schmit declared that the proposal will respect the traditions, cultures and national systems and would not undermine the functioning of countries where salaries are regulated through collective bargaining.



FIEC’s seat in ELA Stakeholder Group validated!

It’s official! At its second meeting, held on 3rd December, the Management Board of the European Labour Authority (ELA) confirmed the composition of the Stakeholder Group. Hence, FIEC’s seat as a full member in this group has been validated.
As the ELA will absorb a number of institutional expert groups related to labour and employment issues in which FIEC used to sit until now, this confirmed nomination is important.