EVP Frans Timmermans at FIEC General Assembly on 2 December

With a keynote speech on the relevance of the EU Green Deal in the light of the current geo-political developments and the role of construction, the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, intervened in our General Assembly meeting held on 2nd December that gathered participants coming from 28 different countries.For the construction community, EVP Frans Timmerman’s personal presence represented a unique opportunity to discuss a series of current construction-related issues and the valuable contribution to future actions that sector can bring about.

“We are in a defining moment for Europe, democracy, and freedom. The construction industry will play a key role to rebuild Ukraine, hopefully sooner rather than later. And at the same time, the way we build and what we do in the built environment is going through a fundamental transformation. We need to make every new building climate neutral. And we need to refurbish, insulate, and install new energy systems in the built environment that is already here. This is an incredible opportunity for the construction sector. With clear regulation and supporting measures in key areas like permitting, training and digitalisation, we will do our best to construct together the world of tomorrow” – said EVP Timmermans.



Council adopts position on Due Diligence

The Council has adopted its negotiating position on the “Corporate sustainability due diligence” Directive last week.

The rules of the “Due diligence” Directive apply to large EU companies and to non-EU companies active in the EU. The Council introduces a phase-in approach regarding the application of the rules laid down in the Directive. The rules would first apply to very large companies that have more than 1000 employees and €300 million net worldwide turnover or, for non-EU companies, €300 million net turnover generated in the EU, 3 years from the entry into force of the Directive.

According to the Council’s text, the due diligence will apply to a company’s ‘chain of activities’, which covers a company’s upstream and also downstream business partners, albeit in a limited manner. The Council also strengthens the risk-based approach and the rules on the prioritisation of the adverse impacts to ensure that carrying out due diligence obligations is feasible for companies.


FIEC sends Open Letter on Construction Products Regulation to EU Institutions

On Wednesday, 30th November, FIEC sent an “Open Letter” on the proposal for a revised Construction Products Regulation (CPR) to different stakeholders in the EU institutions.In this letter, FIEC welcomed the fact that the draft report in the European Parliament of rapporteur MEP Christian Doleschal (EPP/Germany) contains various encouraging elements for improving the proposal.
FIEC also called on MEPs and national delegates in the EU Council to take into account aspects such as reducing the proposal’s overall complexity, clarifying that the CPR should apply to the sale of construction products that are placed on the market, but not to works contracts and services, or avoiding red tape for the use of products for re-use or remanufacturing.

FIEC and its 32 national member federations especially fear that this proposal could not only jeopardise ongoing efforts of the sector to make construction more circular, digital, and resilient, but could also result in a considerable increase of administrative and financial burdens for European contractors” the letter reads.

On 29th November, FIEC had already published a joint statement with Construction Products Europe, the European Builders Confederation and Small Business Standards on the draft report.



Member States adopt new sustainability reporting rules

On 28th November, the EU Council gave its final approval to the “Corporate sustainability reporting” Directive (CSRD).

The CSRD introduces new and more detailed reporting requirements and ensures that large companies and listed SMEs are required to report on sustainability matters such as environmental rights, social rights, human rights and governance factors.

The new sustainability reporting rules will apply to all large undertakings, whether listed on regulated markets or not, but not to listed micro-undertakings. These companies are also responsible for assessing the information applicable to their subsidiaries.

The rules also apply to listed SMEs, taking into account their specific characteristics. An opt-out will be possible for listed SMEs during a transitional period, exempting them from the application of the directive until 2028.

The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) is responsible for developing the draft European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS). The Commission will adopt the final version of the standards as a delegated act by June 2023 and 2024.

The CSRD will soon be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and will enter into force 20 days afterwards. The new rules will need to be implemented by Member States 18 months later.


Philippe Dessoy elected new CICA President


On the occasion of the CICA General Assembly held in Paris on 29 November 2022, the Belgian Philippe Dessoy was elected President of the Confederation of International Contractors’ Associations. He succeeds the Venezuelan Irwin Perret after his 2-year mandate. FIEC is represented in the new elected Board of CICA by Lubomir Katchamakov from Bulgaria.

FIEC wishes all the best to Philippe Dessoy at the head of our worldwide organisation and is looking forward to continuing with him the longstanding constructive cooperation with CICA.


MOBICCON-PRO: new EU-funded project


The transition towards a circular economy is a global challenge. The EU Green Deal aims to transform industries to reduce waste generation, foster recycling and make circular products the norm in the EU. Among the sectors that are expected to contribute to this circular journey, the construction sector is one of the most promising. At the same time, the sector is responsible for more than 37% of the EU’s total waste generation, making it one of the biggest waste streams in Europe.

Given the pressing need of a new modus operandi to increase the availability of reused and recycled construction products across the EU, the idea of MOBICCON-PRO project has come about. Its overall objective is to demonstrate and deploy an innovative mobile and territorial solution for construction and demolition waste management that increases the uptake of recycled construction products in the Southeast Europe region.

FIEC, as one of the partners in this 5-years project, will be involved in supporting the dialogue between EU policy makers and stakeholders, promoting the awareness and disseminating project resuls at the EU level.