Joint Statement calling for an ambitious European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP10)

110 organisations, including FIEC and led by EARTO (European Association of Research & Technology Organisations), have co-signed the Joint Statement calling for an ambitious European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP10).

The text aims at urging the EU institutions to significantly increase the current RD&I (research, development and innovation) budget in view of the launch of the FP10 and making pan-European excellent cross-border collaborative RD&I the cornerstone of this funding programme.

The signatories (European associations representing the key European RD&I stakeholders) are ready to further discuss the design of FP10 with the EU decision-and-policy makers, and are fully convinced that Europe has much better potential in the global innovation race than what it is currently performing. To remain a model of economic and social prosperity, Europe needs to strongly invest in pan-European collaborative RD&I fostering collaboration, driving technology maturation and innovation, and leveraging the expertise of RD&I public and private actors to strengthen its competitiveness and assert its leadership in key technological domains, as well as pave the way for a prosperous and sustainable future.

FIEC shared this update on its Social Media under the hashtag #CompetitiveFP10.

Read or download the released full Joint Statement via the below tab.



EU Council to strengthen the bloc’s ‘Water Resilience’

To make the green transition a success, the European Union will continue to protect nature and reverse the degradation of ecosystems, including oceans. A special focus has been given to ‘water’ resilience that has been added ‘in extremis’ to the text as a driver to achieve a prosperous and competitive Europe.This is why – in its Strategic Priorities for 2024-2029 adopted on 27 June – the EU Council reported that it will “strengthen water resilience across the Union“. This suggests that the “Water Resilience Initiative” is expected to be addressed and implemented over the next political cycle, and should be among the top flagships during the first 2 years of the new EU term.

FIEC is Ambassador for the “Water Wise EU” campaign

FIEC welcomes these conclusions as they emphasise the key role of water in enhancing European economic competitiveness. Our Federation also joined – as Ambassador – the “Water Wise EU” campaign launched by the European Commission in May.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of the increasing stress placed on Europe’s water systems and to spotlight the many available solutions to tackle issues related to water. ‘See water differently’ is the slogan with the hashtag #WaterWiseEU.We are also strongly supporting the idea of a European Blue Deal.
And with these new conclusions, the Council joins the calls of the other 3 European institutions for a European Blue Deal, putting more pressure on the European Commission to deliver the Water Resilience Initiative with an ambitious and comprehensive water-smart Action Plan for Europe.

State of play

In the State of the Union address, and its Work Programme for 2024, the European Commission announced its intention to put forward a non-legislative initiative on water resilience, with the aim to ensure access to water for citizens, nature and the economy, while also tackling catastrophic flooding and water shortages.On 17 October 2023, the EU Commissioner for the Environment, Virginijus Sinkevičius, presented to the European Parliament the broad outlines of the initiative.
At the Environment Council on 25 March 2024, ministers had an informal discussion on water resilience with EU Commissioner, Wopke Hoekstra. The proposal was expected for the first quarter of 2024, but there is not yet a precise timetable for the announcement of the Communication.

European Parliament approved new Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR)

The Council of the European Union has given its final approval to the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) addressing ecodesign requirements for sustainable products.This new set of rules were originally proposed in March 2022 to replace the EU’s Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC). The ESPR includes more in-depth ecodesign requirements, including new rules on product durability, reusability, upgradability, and repairability, and will be more broadly applicable to a significantly larger number of product groups.

The overall goal of the ESPR is to reduce the EU’s dependence on energy from countries outside of the EU, including Russia.
As key element of the EU Green Deal, the revised Ecodesign regulation is part of the Circular Economy Action Plan, which aims for the EU to use and reuse materials more efficiently.  It will contribute to helping the EU reach its environmental and climate goals, doubling its circularity rate of material use and to achieving its energy efficiency targets by 2030.

Following the Council’s action and publication in the EU Official Journal, the ESPR is entering into force on 18 July. The specific requirements will apply 24 months after the date of entry into force.



European Commission disburses additional €1.9 billion to Ukraine

On 28 June, the European Commission disbursed almost €1.9 billion in pre-financing to Ukraine under the Ukraine Facility, the budgetary instrument of the European Union’s macro-financial assistance to the country, which will total €50 billion between now and 2027. The Ukraine Facility will support the transition towards a green, digital and inclusive economy, progressively aligned with EU rules and standards.
This disbursement brings the total amount of EU assistance to Ukraine to €7.9 billion since the start of operations in March.The €1.9 billion pre-financing represents an advance disbursement of 7% of the loan assistance that Ukraine is eligible to receive under the Ukraine Facility to support the implementation of the “Ukraine Plan”. The Plan sets out reforms and investments that can stimulate sustainable economic growth and attract investment, thereby increasing the country’s growth potential in the medium-to-long term. Quarterly payments will follow, subject to Ukraine’s compliance with pre-agreed conditions.



Join the Pact for Skills in Construction!

The European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) invites you to join the “Pact for Skills in Construction” aimed at improving the skills of the construction workforce, particularly in green and digital areas.This initiative supports the European construction sector and its 3 million workers through strong partnerships, skill monitoring, anti-discrimination efforts, and promoting lifelong learning. Recognising the construction sector’s role in Europe’s sustainable development, this initiative aims to prepare workers for the future while addressing current skill gaps.

Your involvement can make a significant difference in building a sustainable and skilled future for the industry.

Join us now and be part of this shared commitment!

Click on the tab below to discover who co-signed the Pact (list of signatories).



FIEC Newsletter will be “on holidays”!
Back in September

We look forward to sharing more news and interesting highlights in a few weeks.
We wish all our readers a relaxing and sunny break!