Internal Market Committee votes on position on new construction products rules

On 23 May, the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) of the European Parliament adopted its position on the proposal for a revised Construction Products Regulation (rapporteur: Christian Doleschal/EPP).According to the adopted position (due to be confirmed by the plenary in July), the “direct installation” of construction products would be excluded from the scope, but the “de-installation” of products would be covered by the new rules, as well as “services”.

The European Parliament also wants to make the standardisation process at EU level more efficient. The European Commission would have the possibility to set standards via “delegated acts” under certain conditions.

It would also have the power to set rules on green public procurement. The transition period from the current to the new CPR would be shorter than foreseen in the initial proposal of the Commission (March 2022).

The full text of the position will soon be available on the IMCO website. FIEC reacted to the vote in a Joint Statement, together with Construction Products Europe (CPE), the European Builders Confederation (EBC) and Small Business Standards (SBS).


FIEC addresses undeclared work in construction at ELA seminar

Continuing its close cooperation with the European Labour Authority (ELA), FIEC Director for Social Affairs, Christine Le Forestier, addressed the issue of undeclared work in construction in a seminar which took place last week and focused more specifically on the situation of housing renovation and maintenance.On behalf of both the EU construction Social Partners (FIEC and EFBWW), she presented the work undertaken in the framework of various Social Dialogue projects funded by the European Commission. In particular, she presented the communication campaign organised in the framework of the TUWIC project (“Tackling Undeclared Work In Construction“), as well as the past and future work done on sectoral social ID cards, which play an important role to increase transparency in the sector.
Mrs Le Forestier also mentioned that applying reduced VAT rates in construction is an efficient leverage to bring the grey economy back to the white one.



A European Summit on Occupational Safety and Health

On 15-16 May, the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Summit took place in Stockholm. Co-organised by the European Commission and the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU, it gathered EU officials, social partners, and stakeholders to review the progress of the Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2021-2027.In this context, EU-OSHA (European Agency for Security and Health at Work) released its report entitled “Occupational safety and health in Europe: state and trends 2023”, which describes the state of occupational safety and health in the EU and provides an overview of its development, potential improvements, areas of concern and future challenges.

On 5 October 2022, FIEC and its EU Social Partner, EFBWW (European Federation of Buildings and Woodworkers), adopted a Joint Declaration on the EU strategic framework on health and safety at work 2021-2027.



EPC Policy Dialogue: FIEC President on key challenges of Circular Economy

On 25 May, FIEC President, Philip Crampton, participated in the online Policy Dialogue – “Towards a Circular Built Environment – What role for the EU?” – hosted by the European Policy Centre (EPC). The European Commission’s Head of the Construction Unit, Ms. Katharina Knapton-Vierlich, was also among the speakers.In his introductory remarks, Philip Crampton said that the construction sector has a strong role to play in the green transition since it is one of Europe’s largest consumers of resources.

He presented current challenges of shifting from a linear to circular economy, such as the difficulty in finding workers with the right skills, the lack of availability of secondary raw materials or the incompatibility of certain EU rules with national building codes and traditions. He also insisted that construction companies need more time to adapt to new circular economy rules and reminded the audience of the fact that “green interventions are still more expensive” than conventional construction methods.

The European Commission said that the general public is not yet aware of the environmental impacts of construction and that the industry has a “huge responsibility” in this process of greening sector investments and activities.



TANSIRC 2 project – Webinar


On 25 May 2023 FIEC, EFBWW and AEIP organised an online webinar on “Strengthening Industrial Relations in the Construction Sector in Central and East European Countries – EU funds use at national level and best practices”. The event was part of the EU-funded project “Towards A New Start of Industrial Relations in Construction in Central and East European Countries (CEEC’s)” – TANSIRC 2.
The event, which gathered key stakeholders in the construction sector and EU representatives, aimed at promoting EU funding opportunities, as well as to share best practices on their use at national level for the development of Social Dialogue and industrial relations in the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs). It also aimed at building up the capacity of trade unions and employers federations to enter in negotiations within the national systems of industrial relations. Presentations included information on funding opportunities under Erasmus+Horizon Europe, European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) and the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).



MOBICCON-PRO project General Assembly


On 25-26 May, FIEC met in Sofia (Bulgaria) with the other partners of the project (10 partner organisations from 5 European countries)  funded under Horizon Europe and called “Mobile and Innovative Circularity for Construction Products” (MOBICCON-PRO), coordinated by Glavbolgarstroy Holding AD (GBS).

On the first day, the partners held a conference “Innovative solutions for circular construction” where current trends in circular construction and good practices were shared. The event was also the occasion to announce the launching of a Territorial Cluster Center (TCC) for circular construction in South-Eastern Europe. The TCC aims to provide a platform for the exchange of experiences in the field of circular construction between academia and research communities, public institutions, industry, construction sector companies, industry associations and non-governmental organizations.

On the second day, the consortium discussed the steps made over the first 6 months and exchanged ideas on how to keep developing innovative solutions for construction and demolition waste while contributing to the sustainability efforts of the sector.