FIEC press conference – FIEC reports a 3.5% growth in activity in the EU construction industry in 2017


“After nearly a lost decade, activity is going better and better in the construction industry,” declared FIEC President Kjetil Tonning, as he presented FIEC’s annual statistics at a press conference on 20th June in Brussels.
“Overall, EU total construction output amounted to €1,364 billion in 2017, which represents an increase of 3.5% compared to 2016,” reported Tonning. “This is positive, but the after-effects of the crisis are not completely behind and we have not yet reached the pre-crisis levels, except in the housebuilding segment.”
In 2017, construction provided jobs for 14.5 million people, which represents 6.4% of Europe’s total employment. The construction industry also remains one of the major engines of Europe’s growth. It represents 8.9% of EU GDP and involves 3.1 million enterprises – the vast majority of which are SMEs.

 

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The new “Posting” Directive is not a panacea against all forms of fraud

In the recent press conference held on 20/6 FIEC President Kjetil Tonning indicated that it is too early to provide a practical assessment of the new modified “Posting” Directive and reminded that many frauds observed in the area of “Posting” are due to other factors, which would have needed other types of interventions, such as, for example, frauds with A1 forms or wrong declarations about “working hours”.

FIEC therefore remains careful at this stage about the possible positive added value introduced by the new provisions and expects difficulties or little real impact in the implementation of some of them :

  • the practical implementation of “Remuneration” will require strong political will and resources, as it will be very complicated for labour inspectors to check the compliance with its different components;
  • the maximum duration (12 + 6 months) will have little impact in the construction sector where the vast majority of “Posting” operations last on average between 3-4 months.
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