FIEC Construction Manifesto for EU elections:
Now available online in 7 languages
We are pleased to announce that – ahead of the EU Elections 2024 – our new digital publication FIEC Construction Manifesto for Action – EU Term 2024-2029 – “Building a resilient and sustainable Europe together” is now available online in 6 additional language versions (for a total of 7, including English).The new 6 languages are:
Energy Performance of Buildings Directive:
Op-ed by President Philip Crampton
On 26 January, FIEC published an op-ed written by its President, Philip Crampton, on the new EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).”85% of buildings in the EU were built before 2000 and 75% of them have poor energy performance. This is a reminder of the urgency of action if we are to meet the EU’s ambitious climate and energy savings targets“, Mr Crampton says.
According to FIEC President, 3 key issues remain for FIEC: The issue around funding, the question on skills and the impact of the EPBD on new construction and housing.
“The EU’s renovation strategy must be socially just and equitable. We need to ensure that lower and middle income households are supported financially and technically in their renovation efforts“, added Crampton in the article. As for new construction, FIEC urges governments not to forget the current severe “housing crisis” in Europe.
The full op-ed is available at the link below.
New EU Construction Products Regulation:
A major improvement for contractors
FIEC welcomes the fact that the overall complexity of the text has been significantly reduced by excluding the direct installation, de-installation and manufacture of products ‘on site’ from the scope, which represents a major practical improvement and a massive cost & time saving for contractors (approx. 1-2 Full Time Equivalent per year).
The standard-setting process has been simplified and the new rules should also help the sector to become more sustainable and digitised.
“We believe – and hope – that the new rules on standardisation will speed up the standard-setting process at EU level. It remains to be seen whether the new mechanism will allow the notorious backlog of harmonised standards to be cleared”, says Eric Winnepenninckx, Rapporteur of FIEC’s sub-commission on technical affairs.
A major drawback is the long transition period from the current (305/2011) to the revised CPR, which is likely to create significant planning uncertainty for the sector.
Evaluation of the European Labour Authority’s mandate
An evaluation of the mandate of the European Labour Authority (ELA) by the European Commission is expected in August 2024. In this context, on 25 January, the Belgian Presidency of the EU organised a high-level conference to promote the work of ELA and contribute to the evaluation by presenting its report. The report of the Belgian Presidency assesses the added value and weaknesses of ELA and makes recommendations on its main tasks. The report recognises the importance of ELA but underlines that there is a great potential for development.Furthermore, on 18 January, the European Parliament adopted its resolution on the revision of ELA’s mandate. Members of the Parliament call for an extension of the mandate of ELA, in particular to give to ELA the power to initiate inspections of cross-border cases and to cover the labour mobility of third-country nationals.
Commission proposes new initiatives to strengthen economic security
On 24 January the European Commission adopted new initiatives to strengthen the EU’s economic security while maintaining the openness of trade, investment and research for the EU economy. This comes at a time of rising geopolitical tensions and profound technological changes.These proposals are part of a broader three-pillar approach to EU economic security by promoting the EU’s competitiveness, protecting against risks and partnering with the broadest possible range of countries to advance shared economic security interests. Initiatives include screening foreign investment in the EU, coordinating export controls, assessing the risks of foreign investment in certain technologies or improving the safety of research.
The package is in line with the June 2023 European Economic Security Strategy, which provides a framework for assessing and addressing risks to the Union’s economic security, while ensuring that the EU remains an open and attractive destination for business and investment.