Global ABC: Buildings play critical role in recovery plans

As a reaction to the pandemic, countries worldwide have dedicated funding to buildings recognising the essential role of construction for an economic recovery.
In a recent report, the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction explains that, at EU level, expenditures in buildings represent more than 10% of the national recovery plans which were submitted under the Recovery and Resilience Facility. EU countries which are spending the most on buildings are Romania, Bulgaria, Italy and Portugal with buildings-related expenditures exceeding 1.5% of 2020 GDP.



International Procurement Instrument: Political Discussions Speeding Up

As MEP Daniel Caspary (EPP), the Rapporteur for the IPI (International Procurement Instrument), has recently stated, no legal undertaking has taken so long to deal with the following question: How do we ensure that European companies find access to open procurement markets in third countries? The IPI (International Procurement Instrument) has been championed as a solution for quite some time now, with the Commission’s initial proposal having been put forth back in 2012. Nevertheless, progress has been slow. The potential negative consequences of the instrument in its original form resulted in the Commission amending its proposal. At a political level, its has taken 9 Council presidencies to come up with a common position.Despite these setbacks, MEP Caspary has indicated that political discussions are set to speed up. The Council has arrived at its position back in July. In the Parliament, the 532 amendments that have been tabled show a high degree of convergence on the key elements of the file and discussions are ongoing.

According to the Rapporteur, the goal is to have a vote in the responsible Committee by the end of November and the “trilogue” meetings are expected to start immediately after. FIEC will be following these developments closely.

Machinery Products Regulation – FIEC presents the users’ point of view

In a position paper published on Monday 8th November, FIEC presents a few amendments’ proposals of high importance for contractors and their operators.In particular, FIEC insists that the concept of “substantial modification” be amended, in order to avoid that any small safety upgrade undertaken by construction companies be considered as “substantial modification” and subject to a full conformity assessment with intervention of a third party.

FIEC also proposes a full alternative approach to the concept of “high-risk machinery” in Annex I and several amendments to the essential health and safety requirements (EHSR) in Annex III.

FIEC calls the Members of the European Parliament (i.e. IMCO Committee) to adequately take into account the point of view of the users in this complex issue.