Czech Republic takes over presidency of EU Council – FIEC to participate in “digital construction conference” in November


On Friday, 1st July, the Czech Republic took the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
For the next six months, the Czech presidency will run under the slogan “Europe as a Task: Rethink, Rebuild, Repower” and focus on the following priorities:
  1. Managing the refugee crisis and Ukraine’s post-war recovery;
  2. Energy security;
  3. Strengthening Europe’s defence capabilities and cyberspace security;
  4. Strategic resilience of the EU economy and
  5. Resilience of democratic institutions.
In the field of (re)construction, an important task of the Czech Presidency will be the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine, including long-term reconstruction efforts, “focusing on restoring critical infrastructure, ensuring basic services, strengthening resilience and economic recovery and stability in Ukraine”, according to the programme.

To this end, the Czech Republic wants to support the elaboration of the presented proposals for the reconstruction of Ukraine (Rebuild Ukraine Facility and reconstruction platform), initiate the preparation of a comprehensive reconstruction and resilience programme with a regional overlap and organise a related reconstruction conference. “CZ PRES will also make efforts to quickly establish the Ukraine Reconstruction Facility” and “mobilising resources from EU instruments, other major donors and the private sector will be crucial in designing the designing comprehensive support”, the programme reads.

In the area of EU industrial policy, the Presidency will focus on strengthening open strategic autonomy and increasing the competitiveness of the European economy. The implementation of the new European Industrial Strategy and the mapping of strategic dependencies, including in the areas of raw materials, will be high on the agenda. As regards technical harmonisation, the country will also try to move forward with all the legislative proposals submitted and expected, e.g., the proposal for a revised Construction Products Regulation (CPR). In the area of company law, the Czech Presidency will try to achieve a common approach for the initiative on sustainable corporate governance, where the priority will be to “strike a balance between achieving the intended objectives and the administrative burden on businesses” (programme). In the area of digitalisation, the presidency plans to hold a conference on “digital construction” on 9th and 10th November in Prague, where FIEC will be among the participants.In the area of competition, the Czech Presidency will pay particular attention to “developing activities to overcome the challenges SMEs are currently facing in the context of post-pandemic recovery, high inflation, rising energy prices and supply chain challenges”.

In the area of energy, climate and transport policy, the Czech Presidency will focus especially on thorough implementation of the main short-term objective, i.e. remove dependence on Russian fossil fuels, laid down in the “REPowerEU” plans of the EU Commission presented on 18 May 2022. Top priority of the presidency in the environment and climate area will be to achieve “maximum progress” in negotiations on the Fit for 55 package of legislative proposals, including the Social Climate Fund and the proposal to extend the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) to buildings and road transport. The Czech Presidency will especially deal with the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and the use of renewable energy.

In the case of the recast Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), the Czech Presidency will aim to achieve general approaches. The proposal on the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) is also cited as a top priority.

Finally, in the field of social policy, the issue of energy poverty is described as one of the “key challenges for social cohesion” in the EU, as well as “the ageing of European society, the introduction of new technologies, the digitisation of industry and services and the transition to a carbon neutral economy”, which will “require activating all available human resources, adapting workers and improving their skills to be able to compete on the rapidly changing labour market”.



FIEC-EIC Task Force on Ukraine

A delegation of the municipality of Irpin (Ukraine) met with FIEC on 30/6, in order to disucss the needs for rebuilding the city and planning its future.A list of 20 critical social infrastructure facilities that need to be reconstructed as soon as possible has been defined by the city of Irpin (available under the “Read more” button below).

In order to monitor the developments and to facilitate the coordination and the links between the needs on the field and the companies and organisaitons willing to contribute to the reconstruction of Ukraine, a joint FIEC-EIC (European International Contractors) Task Force has been set up and will be chaired by FIEC Honorary President Kjetil Tonning (Norway).



Construction Blueprint – Questionnaire about construction companies’ skills needs


The partners of the EU funded project “Construction Blueprint” have launched a short survey to identify the transversal skills needs of European construction companies in the fields of digitalisation, energy efficiency and circular economy.

To reach a greater number of construction companies, the 10-minutes survey is available in 12 languages: English, French, Spanish, Dutch, German, Italian, Greek, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Slovenian , Polish and Finnish.

The responses to the questions will remain completely anonymous and the results of the questionnaire will be available by October 2022 on the Construction Blueprint project website. 

The survey can be accessed here.

The construction industry is undergoing a significant digital and green transition. You want to play a role in upskilling and reskilling the construction workforce in the next few years?

Join the Pact for Skills in Construction and take the commitments adapted to your own needs! The European Commission is putting in place a support structure which will also help you to find more easily possible funding options.

Provisional agreement reached on “Foreign Subsidies”

On 1 July 2022, the Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional political agreement on the Regulation on “Foreign subsidies distorting the internal market”.The aim of the Regulation is to remedy the distortive effects created by subsidies granted by non-EU countries to companies operating in the EU’s single market and restore a level playing-field. It establishes a comprehensive framework for the Commission to examine any economic activity benefiting from a subsidy granted by a non-EU country on the internal market.

The Commission will be empowered to investigate the financial contributions granted by public authorities of a non-EU country to undertakings engaging in an economic activity in the EU by means of three tools: two prior authorisation tools and one general market tool.
The co-legislators have decided to maintain the notification thresholds proposed by the Commission for mergers and public procurement procedures. This was one of the most sensitive points during negotiations.
The provisional agreement is now subject to approval by the Council and the European Parliament.