Council adopts position on Nature Restoration Law

On 20 June, the EU Council of Ministers adopted its position (“General Approach”) on the European Commission’s controversial proposal for a Nature Restoration Law. The position grants flexibility to the Member States regarding their restoration plans, for example, by allowing them to take into account the diversity of different regions in terms of social, economic and cultural requirements, regional and local characteristics and population density.There are also specific provisions for some selected ecosystems, including “urban ecosystems”.

Once the European Parliament – which is expected to adopt its position on 10 July – has agreed its position, the law will enter into final “trialogue” talks with the Member States and the European Commission.



New LIFE Call for Proposals open until November

The “LIFE Clean Energy Transition 2023” Call for proposals is open with a specific topic: “LIFE-2023-CET-BETTERRENO”, which is addressing several key areas to achieve the EU targets for the decarbonisation of the building stock. LIFE-CET is dedicated to creating favourable regulatory and market conditions for sustainable energy solutions. Applications can be submitted until 16 November 2023. The funding rate is 95%.Proposals are welcome for 3 different scopes:
(1) Facilitating large-scale deep renovation;
(2) Regulatory and administrative frameworks;
(3) Buildings energy data and services.



European Sustainable Energy Week

From 20 to 22 June, the European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) took place in Brussels under the theme “Accelerating the clean energy transition – towards lower bills and greater skills“.It included, for example, policy sessions on “Leading the way – setting the vision for buildings in the EU’s clean energy transition” on “Heat pumps: stepping up the decarbonisation of the EU’s building sector” or on “The beating heart of buildings: people!“.

EUSEW is the biggest annual event dedicated to renewables and efficient energy use in Europe.

More support for projects on the Trans-European Transport Network


The European Commission has allocated € 6.2 billion in grants, through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), for 107 new projects on the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). 82% of the funding concerns transport infrastructure that contributes to climate objectives in line with the European Union’s commitments.

As part of the EU’s solidarity response to Ukraine, the Commission set out an Action Plan for the EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes to facilitate Ukrainian exports and bilateral trade. Roughly € 250 millions will be used to enhance the cross-border connections with Ukraine and Moldova along these Solidarity Lanes.


Commission proposes to set up a Ukraine Facility

On 20 June, the European Commission announced its intention to establish a dedicated financing instrument to provide coherent, predictable as well as flexible support to Ukraine for the period 2024-2027. The new Ukraine Facility will support Ukraine’s recovery, reconstruction and modernisation whilst implementing key reforms on its EU accession track. It foresees an overall amount up to € 50 billion for the period 2024-2027 for both grants and loans.The Facility is organised around 3 pillars: the second one is a specific Ukraine Investment Framework designed to attract and mobilise public and private investments for Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction.



EU Spanish Presidency to kick-off on 1 July

On 1 July, Spain will take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union until 31 December. This time is marked buy a turmoil caused by a series of events that still keep the European Union busy over current and new challenges for the second half of 2023. Among these, the War in Ukraine, cyber threats and the inflation.

Among the priorities defined by the Spanish Prresidency (for the complete programme click on Read More below) the ones that will impact construction are :

1. Reindustrialise the EU and ensure its open strategic autonomy:
The Chips Act and Critical Raw Materials Act are crucial for ensuring access to necessary inputs. The aim is to relaunch the efforts to seek alliances with countries providing materials for the digital economy, while also reducing regulatory burden, permit times, and encouraging investment. Market access for European companies abroad remains a top priority.
2. Advance in the green transition and the environmental adaptation:
  • Promoting a reform of the electricity market aimed at accelerating the deployment of renewable energies, the reduction of electricity prices and the improvement of the system’s stability;
  • Accelerating the legislative files related to the Fit for 55 package, such as the Gas and Hydrogen package and the energy efficiency regulations;
  • Support measures for the decrease of waste and microplastics, the designing of sustainable products and the generation of green fuels.

Specifically, on the “construction” front, the sector will benefit from the progress that will be made under the policies and actions set forth by the Net Zero Industry Act and the EU Green Deal Industrial Plan: enabling regulation will impact positively key technology drivers and data-sharing, and it will contribute to cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 1/5 until 2030.

Did you know that…?

The logo designed for the Spanish EU Presidency – and the motto “Europe, closer” – symbolises the transparency to which the European project aspires, as well as Spain’s full identification with the EU. In its minimalism, the logo alludes to the clarity, simplicity and transparency to which the European Union should look ahead.

ELA annual conference on the future for labour mobility

On 20 June, the European Labour Authority (ELA) held its Annual Conference on “What future for Labour Mobility – trends and way forward”. This conference marked the 4-year anniversary of the Authority and gathered representatives of the EU institutions and social partners from different sectors.Two panel discussions were organised to discuss the challenges for the EU labour market (including social security coordination, labour shortages, posting of workers, administrative burdens, …).

On 21 June, FIEC attended the joint meeting of ELA Management Board and Stakeholders’ Group, in Bratislava. At this occasion, ELA presented its latest activities, including those specifically dedicated to the construction sector. The Work Programme for the coming year was also discussed in depth, and participants called for a new approach focused on fewer activities and higher provision of concrete results.