Commission presents “Green Deal Industrial Plan”

On 1st February, the European Commission published its “Green Deal Industrial Plan for the Net-Zero Age“, its response to short-term challenges of the European Industry, with the objective “to enhance the competitiveness of Europe’s net-zero industry and support the fast transition to climate neutrality“.The plan is based on four pillars: (1) a predictable and simplified regulatory environment, (2) speeding up access to finance, (3) enhancing skills, and (4) open trade for resilient supply chains.

Under the first pillar, the Commission will propose a Net-Zero Industry Act to identify goals for net-zero industrial capacity and provide a regulatory framework suited for its quick deployment, ensuring simplified and fast-track permitting, and promoting “European strategic projects”.
The framework will be complemented by the Critical Raw Materials Act, to ensure sufficient access to materials that are also relevant for the construction industry.

The second pillar of the plan will speed up investment and financing for clean tech production in Europe. “Public financing, in conjunction with further progress on the European Capital Markets Union, can unlock the huge amounts of private financing required for the green transition“.

Under the third pillar, the Commission fill focus on the European Year of Skills and will propose to establish Net-Zero Industry Academies to roll out up-skilling and re-skilling programmes in strategic industries. For instance, it will establish a Heat Pumps skills partnership and a skills partnership for onshore renewable energy.

It will also consider how to combine a ‘Skills-first’ approach, recognising actual skills, with existing approaches based on qualifications, and how to facilitate access of third country nationals to EU labour markets in priority sectors.

Finally, under the last pillar, the Commission will for example explore the creation of a “Critical Raw Materials Club“, to bring together raw material ‘consumers’ and resource-rich countries to ensure global security of supply through a competitive and diversified industrial base, and of Clean Tech/Net-Zero Industrial Partnerships.

FIEC welcomes the objective of the plan to stimulate the demand for low-carbon and net-zero products  and to speed up the access to finance.



“Compromise deal” on Energy Performance of Buildings Directive reached

On 30th January, the European Parliament’s main negotiator for the recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), Ciarán Cuffe (Greens/Ireland), and the shadow rapporteurs of the other political groups, met for a final meeting to finalise so-called “compromise amendments” and, at the end of the meeting, a deal was reached.According to these agreed compromise amendments, the groups agreed to strengthen the ambition of the revision proposal presented by the European Commission on several points, including Art. 9 on the “Minimum energy performance standards” (MEPS).

Member States would be required to ensure that public and private non-residential buildings achieve at least energy performance class E by 2027 and D by 2030, compared to F and E in the Commission’s text and C and D in the original proposal by the rapporteur Ciarán Cuffe. Residential buildings should at least meet the requirements of class E by 2030 and D by 2033.

However, in the case of residential buildings, Member States  would also have the possibility to ask the Commission to adapt the MEPS for specific parts or sub-segments of its building stock “for reasons of economic and technical feasibility and the availability of skilled workforce“. They would also have the possibility to exempt publicly owned social housing from the obligations of Art. 9.

Under the “compromise deal”, Member States would also have to ensure that new buildings are zero-emission buildings from 2026 for public buildings and from 2028 for all others (compared to 2027 and 2030 in the Commission’s proposal). In addition, Member States would have to ensure that the life-cycle Global Warming Potential is calculated and disclosed through the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of the building. EU countries would also have to publish a roadmap “detailing the introduction of limit values on the total cumulative lifecycle Global Warming Potential of all new buildings no later than 2027.

The compromise will be put to a vote in the Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) on 9th February with a view to adoption in the Parliament’s plenary session in March.

Asbestos at work – FIEC and EBC publish Joint Statement

Last week, FIEC and EBC published a Joint Statement for an EU-wide implementable framework on Asbestos exposure at work, including strong accompanying measures. This joint statement comes in reaction to the release of the draft report on asbestos at work by the Employment Committee in the European Parliament.FIEC and EBC welcome the alignment of the draft report with the respective positions of the European Commission and the Council of the EU when it comes to lowering the occupational exposure limit value to 0.01 fibres/cm3, as it should allow for both workers’ improved protection and companies’ realistic implementation.

In addition, FIEC and EBC call for a 7-year transition period, as proposed by the Council, strong financial support to companies and homeowners to assess the presence of asbestos to reduce the risks upfront, increased technical and financial support for training, awareness-raising and exchange of best practices for workers and employers and an appropriate number of waste facilities for asbestos.

Moreover, they warn against a revision clause at the short or medium term that would create uncertainty amongst businesses, as well as a too strict certification or administrative scheme that would close the market, in times where all construction companies are needed to deliver the Renovation Wave.

Obviously, this issue is very important for the construction industry and FIEC has been actively engaging with relevant Members of the European Parliament, both in the Employment and in the Environment Committees.



Reminder: Recovery Construction Forum
15 February in Warsaw


The “RECOVERY CONSTRUCTION FORUM” is a large-scale event dedicated to the reconstruction of Ukraine. It will take place in Warsaw on 15 February 2023 at the EXPO XXI congress center.
The purpose of the forum is to develop a network between the construction industries of the partner countries, in order to accelerate the recovery of Ukrainian affected communities.For further details on the programme and registration link, visit this website:



Commission launches consultation on the revision of the Late Payment Directive

Last week the European Commission launched an open public consultation to collect information on late or unfair payment practices and payment behaviour in commercial transactions. The aim of the consultation is to understand how such late or unfair payments impact businesses’ daily management and their capacity for investment in their green and digital transitions.The consultation runs in parallel with a Call for Evidence where interested parties can express their views on the understanding of the problem, the need for EU intervention and the preliminary range of possible options and their expected impacts.
On the basis of this consultation the European Commission will table proposals for a revision  of the Late Payments Directive.



Construction Blueprint – Final dissemination event


FIEC, EBC (European Builders Confederation) and EFBWW (European Federation of Building and Wood Workers) are organising the final event of the Construction Blueprint for Skills project, funded by the Erasmus+ programme.

Three roundtables dedicated to skills for Digitalisation, Energy Efficiency and Circular Economy will present  and discuss the main outcomes of the project. In addition, a specific session will be dedicated to the Pact for Skills in Construction.

The event will take place on Wednesday 22 February 2023, from 09.30 to 13.00 (CET), in Brussels and online. Interpretation will be available in English, French and Spanish.

Registration is available: