FIEC German federations issue emergency call regarding bridge construction

On 20 June, several German associations, including both FIEC’s German member federations, ZDB and HDB, issued a statement saying that cutting investment in the federal budget would be a fatal decision for Germany’s infrastructure.

Over 4,000 German motorway bridges need urgent renovation or reconstruction. Federal Transport Minister Wissing’s plan to address 400 bridge projects annually by 2026 is unlikely to be fulfilled, prompting several associations to issue an emergency appeal due to insufficient funding and planned budget cuts.

The associations warn that failing to secure additional funding will lead to more bridge closures and traffic chaos. They emphasise the importance of a reliable motorway network for mobility and the economy, and highlight the financial strain on construction companies due to unfulfilled government promises.



Maintenance of bridges : Site visit to Essen

As a complement to the appeal launched by our German member federations, Bauindustrie and ZDB (see previous article), a delegation from FIEC led by Christian Tridon, Chairman of the Working Group on “Structural Maitenance“, visited the on-going worksite of the Theodor Heuss bridge in Essen (a 600m long bridge over the A44 motorway).The aim of this kind of site visit is to raise awareness about the urgent need for maintenance of infrastructure and of bridges in particular, as well as to exchange best practices for mutual learning on financing and on repair and maintenance techniques.

Belgian Presidency launched Roadmap on Carcinogens 3.0

The Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU organised the Roadmap on Carcinogens closing event on 12 and 13 June. The European Commission, the social partners and the Member States discussed the state-of-play on workers’ exposure to carcinogens and assessed the second edition of the roadmap. The Belgian Presidency presented its priorities regarding the prevention of carcinogens at work.The Roadmap on Carcinogens 3.0 was launched during this event and will focus on the distribution of information and tools for employers, employees and OSH-experts. It is a voluntary EU action scheme. Its goal is to protect workers from exposure to carcinogens in the workplace through awareness raising and by exchanging knowledge and good practices.



EAfA Annual Conference: Apprenticeships and Labour shortages

On 17 and 18 June, the European Alliance for Apprenticeships held its Annual Conference in Brussels. The focus of this year conference was on “Unleashing the untapped potential: apprenticeships as a response to labour shortage”.This high-level event gathered representatives of the European Commission, including Commissioner Nicolas Schmit, social partners and civil society to discuss how apprenticeships can help address the challenges raised by labour shortages. The participants highlighted the need to develop further apprenticeships to boost competitiveness, promote quality jobs and enable the digital and green transition. The discussions were also about adult apprenticeships and how to promote learning mobility for VET learner and apprentices.


EU Soil Monitoring Law: Council adopts negotiating position

On 17 June, the 27 environment ministers adopted their negotiating position (general approach) on the proposal for a European Soil Monitoring Law.Surprisingly, the position goes further than the European Parliament’s position and takes a stricter approach to “land take mitigation”.

Now that the EU Council has agreed on a position, the crucial trilogue negotiations can begin.

Since July 2023, when the proposal for a Soil Monitoring Directive was published, FIEC has been calling for a balanced approach to land take mitigation principles and for socio-economic interests such as housing and infrastructure to be taken into account.



Member States’ concerns about impact of heavy goods vehicles on their infrastructure

On 18 June, European transport ministers discussed two texts from the Greening Freight package, including and the Directive on the weights and dimensions of certain road vehicles. This Directive is being dealt with in parallel with the Directive on the combined transport of goods.

During the meeting, the Member States shared their concerns about the impact of the increased weight of heavy vehicles on their infrastructure. In Member States such as Germany, the main infrastructure network is ageing and the financial commitment required to repair it would be considerable.

The latest compromise from the EU Belgian Presidency stipulates that mega trucks must not exceed a height of four metres and a weight of 11.5 tonnes on the drive axle. Member States like the Netherlands are in favour of harmonising modular certificates at European level.

Transport ministers also discussed the definition of combined transport but failed to reach an agreement due to national specificities.

Work on this file will continue under the EU Hungarian Presidency, which begins on 1 July.



EU Council approves new TEN-T guidelines

On 13 June, the EU Council adopted a revised regulation regarding EU guidelines for the development of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).The new law sets deadlines for network completion: 2030 for the core network, 2040 for the extended core network, and 2050 for the comprehensive network, focusing on eliminating bottlenecks and ensuring sustainable connectivity. It also introduces maintenance obligations for Member States, something FIEC has long been pushing for.

The regulation integrates rail, road, and waterways into European Transport Corridors, enhancing strategic freight and passenger transport. It also extends these corridors to Ukraine and Moldova, while downgrading connections with Russia and Belarus, reflecting geopolitical changes. The law will take effect twenty days after its publication in the EU Official Journal.



AccessibleEU European Event – Smart Cities: Enhancing Urban Design and Mobility for All

On 2 July (09:30-18:00 CET), the Fundacion ONCE (based in Madrid) is hosting the AccessibleEU hybrid networking event aimed at raising awareness about the importance of accessibility in urban design across Europe. The idea is to foster a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by people with disabilities navigating urban environments and to promote inclusive practices in urban planning and mobility.The event will be held in English.
Click here to register online.