125th Anniversary of ZDB
(Zentralverband Deutsches Baugewerbe)

Our German member federation, ZDB, celebrated its 125th anniversary on 15 March, in Berlin, with high-ranking federal politicians, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Representing some 35,000 small and medium-sized construction companies, the federation plays a major role in defending the sector’s interests vis-à-vis political decision-makers in Germany.This is an opportunity for FIEC to pay tribute to the essential commitment of a national association whose work ensures that the construction sector can continue playing its key role in the long-term sustainable development of the country’s economy.

It is all enshrined in ZDB’s motto: “Wir bauen Zukunft seit 125 Jahren / We have been building the future for 125 years“!

Building the future not only at national level, but also at European level. ZDB has been a FIEC’s reliable member since 1950 with highly qualified experts involved in the many topics and challenges addressed by the European construction federation.

We would like to thank ZDB Vice-President Rüdiger Otto for his valuable commitment as FIEC Vice-President at the head of our Economic and Legal Commission and currently representing Germany in our Steering Committee.

Congratulations to our German colleagues on this special anniversary and long live the Zentralverband des Deutschen Baugewerbes!



FIEC speaks at hearing on “EU Blue Deal”

On 18 March, FIEC Director General, Domenico Campogrande, spoke at a hearing on industrial and technologocal approaches and best practices related to Water Resilience (“EU Blue Deal“), organised by the CCMI (Consultative Commission on Industrial Change), a body of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).During his presentation, Mr Campogrande remarked that the fight against water stress and extreme weather events should be a priority for the next European Commission and that FIEC supports an update of the EU Industrial Strategy to include the “water dimension”.

He also stressed that a potential EU Blue Deal represents significant business opportunities for construction companies.

On 12 March, on the occasion of the Conference on Water Challenges organised by the Belgian EU Presidency, FIEC co-signed a cross-sectoral call for a stronger EU water policy. The letter, also signed by the agricultural sector, calls on the European Commission to “urgently implement the Water Resilience Initiative as promised and make water a top priority for the next mandate of the European Commission“.



EU Council reaches agreement on new “Due diligence” rules

On 15 March, the European Union’s Coreper approved a provisional agreement on corporate due diligence. The vote in Coreper had been postponed several times since February, mainly due to German opposition to the Directive.The approved text comes with significant changes, including increased thresholds for covered companies and a phased implementation over 5 years. Originally aimed at companies with more than 500 employees and a turnover of more than € 150 million, the agreement now applies to larger companies and removes the category of high-risk sectors. Several countries abstained and Italy sought concessions in exchange for its support.

The text still needs to be ratified by the European Parliament before being adopted by the EU countries.

European Parliament votes in favour of agreement on “EPBD”

On 12 March, the European Parliament voted in favour of the inter-institutional agreement on the new Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).The EPBD aims to progressively reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy consumption in the EU’s building sector and make it climate-neutral by 2050. It also aims to renovate more of the worst performing buildings and improve the exchange of information on energy performance.

All new buildings should be zero-emitting by 2030 and new buildings occupied or owned by public authorities by 2028. When calculating emissions, Member States will take into account the lifecycle global warming potential of a building, including the production and disposal of the construction products used in its construction.

FIEC warmly welcomes this decision of the European Parliament. A full statement can be found below.

The agreement was adopted by 370 votes to 199, with 46 abstentions. To become law, it now has to be formally approved by the Council.

FIEC published a Press Release.



Urban Intergroup and Construction 2050 Alliance call for action:
“Delivering housing solutions” – Event on 9 April

The Urban Intergroup and the Construction 2050 Alliance (of which FIEC is an active member) are organising an event “Call for action: Delivering housing solutions” that will take place on 9 April 2024 from 9h00 to 11h00 CET at the European Parliament in Brussels.The key-role of the construction sector has never been more important in delivering the green, competitive and inclusive transition of the built environment, but suffers from a severe decline in demand, in particular as regards new housebuildings.

On 13 December, ahead of the 2024 European Elections, the Construction 2050 Alliance released its Call and Commitment for the new European Union Political Term. The document reminds how fundamental the construction industry is to the people-economy-climate triangle, and therefore to the competitiveness of the EU.

The event will be the ideal place to discuss the future of housing and the construction sector in light of the upcoming elections.

More information will follow but you can already express your interest by registering here.

The Construction 2050 Alliance is a partnership established in 2020 made of more than 50 European organisations representing the actors of the built environment working together to advance the needs and priorities of the wider construction and built-environment sector at the EU level.



14 May in Dublin:
CIF Health & Safety Summit 2024

On 14 May, our Irish member federation “Construction Industry Federation” (CIF, Ireland) will hold its Health and Safety Summit. This event will focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its impact on modern business models in the construction industry. It will explore the potential of digitalisation and AI to reshape workflows, improve safety and increase efficiency.Participants will also discuss, among other topics, how to promote better health among construction workers, the new technologies for a safer and greener construction industry, psychosocial safety and the health, safety and environmental benefits of Modern Methods of Construction.

Registration is still open and you can find the link to the agenda here:  Agenda – Health and Safety in Construction (cifsafety.ie)



“Eurodétachement” project: new Paper on “Third-country Nationals on the EU Labour Market”

In the context of the EU-funded project “Eurodetachement 6“, a working paper on Third Country Nationals (TCNs) on the EU labour market has been published.The working paper describes the conditions of entry of TCNs into the EU labour market, the employment relationship and their integration into the “posting of workers” scheme. It shows that TCNs’ presence in the EU is increasing and that they remain a vulnerable group. The paper outlines the regulatory framework for the entrance of TCNs to the labour market and focuses on the rights derived from a labour relationship, the specific rules and limitations for TCNs and the rights related to social security. Finally, the  paper looks at the enforcement of the EU Directives and the remaining obstacles.