FIEC Releases Statistical Report 2022
Construction activity in Europe recovering but war in Ukraine is set to have an impact“The construction sector, which had already proved to be more resilient than other sectors the previous year, also began recovering with strong growth in the first half of 2021. Overall, total investment in construction increased by 5.2%”, says Rüdiger Otto, FIEC Vice-President for Economic and Legal Affairs, commenting on the release of FIEC’s Statistical Report.
Investment in construction is also expected to resume growth in 2022. Nevertheless, construction activities are already being impacted by the war in Ukraine which means that projections for this year are likely to change while those for the medium term remain uncertain.
On 23rd June, the FIEC Vice-President in charge of social affairs, Maxime Verhagen, met Dutch MEP Agnes Jongerius to present FIEC’s current priorities in the social field. On the menu: shortage of skilled workforce, posting, sectoral social ID cards, social security coordination and the forthcoming European Commission’s proposal on Asbestos.
On the latter, Verhagen insisted that lowering the current occupational exposure limit value is the wrong focus. More efforts should be concentrated on detection measures, workers’ training, guidance, prevention campaigns and support measures for companies and households.
FIEC participates in biannual session of “Arbeitskreis Bau” dedicated to Construction Products Regulation
On Friday, 24th June, the first of the two annual sessions of “Arbeitskreis Bau” (Construction Working Group”), jointly hosted by our German member federations Hauptverband der Deutschen Bauindustrie (HDB) and Zentralverband des deutschen Baugewerbes (ZDB) and dedicated to the Commission proposal for a revised Construction Products Regulation (CPR) was held as a hybrid event in Brussels. FIEC also participated in the event, during which most of the participants once again pointed to the complexity of the new proposal, which, in their opinion, still leaves many questions unanswered, especially regarding the national transposition of the new rules.
The discussion also featured guests from the European Commission (Manfred Kohler, Senior Expert and Chief Officer for Standardisation at the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs) and the European Parliament (Christian Doleschal, EPP parliamentary group and responsible rapporteur for the proposal).
Manfred Kohler, DG GROW, explained that users would have a “higher level of security” through the new proposal as the latter would bring “better control by market surveillance bodies and more information on safety requirements” of products. At the same time, according to Kohler, the proposal is meant to “maintain parallelism with the Ecodesign Directive” (and the future Ecodesign Sustainable Products Regulation) that would act as a “safety net” in case the the Construction Products Regulation does not apply. Kohler also defended the proposed new provisions on the declarations of performance and conformity, as well as on the direct assembly of construction products on site.
Christian Doleschal gave an overview of the current state of play in the European Parliament. Most notably, According to Doleschal, it should still be possible in the future to set additional national requirements for construction products. While he welcomed that the new proposal foresees simplifications for SMEs, he regretted that it does not foresee a short-term solution to resolve the backlog of standards. Doleschal also said that the introduction of harmonised technical standards via delegated acts should only be possible under exceptional circumstances.