Construction Blueprint – Questionnaire about construction companies’ skills needs

 

Partners of the EU funded project “Construction Blueprint” have launched a short survey to identify the transversal skills needs of European construction companies in the fields of digitalisation, energy efficiency and circular economy.

To reach a greater number of construction companies, the 10-minutes survey is available in 12 languages: English, French, Spanish, Dutch, German, Italian, Greek, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Slovenian , Polish and Finnish.

 

The responses to the questions will remain completely anonymous and the results of the questionnaire will be available by October 2022 on the Construction Blueprint project website.

The survey can be accessed here.

“REPowerEU”: Commission pushes for more savings and energy efficiency gains in buildings

 

On 18 May the European Commission presented its long-awaited “REPowerEU” package as a response to the war in Ukraine, in a bid to reduce the EU’s heavy reliance on Russian fossil fuels, to enhance energy efficiency measures and to accelerate the rollout of renewables.

The REPowerEU package does not modify the headline ambition of the Fit for 55 package of achieving at least a reduction of 55 percent net greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050. However, REPowerEU proposes specific legal amendments to the Fit for 55 proposals, such as an increase of the binding energy efficiency target in the revised Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) proposal from 9 to 13% as well as an increase of the headline 2030 target for renewables in the revised Renewable Energy Directive (RED) from 40 to 45%.

The new legislative package also proposes doubling the deployment rate of heat pumps and calls for new measures to integrate geothermal and solar thermal energy in district and communal heating systems. Most importantly, as part of its “EU Save Plan”, the Commission encourages Member States and the co-legislators to strengthen the regulatory framework for energy efficiency, e.g., through the introduction of additional Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for buildings that encompass also heating and cooling systems, or the phase-out of Member States’ subsidies for fossil fuel-based boilers in buildings as of 2025.

In addition, as part of its “EU Solar Energy Strategy”, the EU intends to make the installation of rooftop solar energy compulsory for all new public and commercial buildings with a useful floor area larger than 250 m2 by 2026, as well as for all existing public and commercial buildings of the same size by 2027 and for all new residential buildings by 2029 (all new buildings must be “solar-ready”). The Commission also announced that it would continue to work together with the Member States to ensure the full implementation of the current provisions in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) in relation to the nearly zero-energy buildings standard for new buildings (NZEB).

 

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CCMI 20th anniversary

The Consultative Committee on Industrial Change (known with its French acronym CCMI) became part of the European Economic and Social committee (EESC) in 2002 and will therefore celebrate this year its 20th anniversary.

 

The role of the CCMI is to analyse and anticipate future trends and developments with the aim of accompanying the transition of industrial sectors. FIEC Director General Domenico Campogrande has a seat as delegate in the CCMI in order to represent the interests of the construction industry.

To celebrate this 20th anniversary a conference will be organised in order to discuss on how the EESC can best contribute to finding responses to the challenges related to the green and digital transitions, as well as to the recovery from the Covid pandemic and the impact of the war in Ukraine.

 

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Trilogues on foreign subsidies have started

Earlier this month, the Council  and the European Parliament agreed on their negotiating mandate for a regulation on distortive foreign subsidies. The first trilogue was held on May 5th.The European Parliament adopted, by a large majority, the report by EPP Rapporteur Christophe Hansen suggesting a broadening of the scope of the legislative proposal.

The Council, for its part, intends to make the future rules more flexible than the Commission’s proposal. More specifically, it seeks to raise the threshold regarding the value of public procurement contracts below which the Commission does not have to be notified of foreign subsidies received by the bidder.

For FIEC, raising thresholds and making the instrument more flexibly will only serve to weaken it.

 

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