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21 March 2017

Position on proposed revision of the EPBD 

Last week, shortly after the publication of its position on the Clean Energy Package, FIEC published its official reaction to the proposal for revisions to the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive (EPBD). The proposal is broadly welcomed, although good intentions will need to be matched by effective implementation at national, regional and local level.  Furthermore, some questions remain, such as the practical details of the proposed "smartness indicator" and the extent to which any such indicator(s) will be aligned with the proposed voluntary assessment framework on the environmental performance of buildings, due to be finalised later this year, by DG Environment and the Joint Research Centre.

One aspect that is opposed by the majority of FIEC members, is the linking of public funding with the use of Energy Performance Certificates to measure energy savings following renovation.



SKILLCO : a focus on skills gaps in the construction industry

Despite the high levels of unemployment observed in the EU, in several Member States construction companies are confronted with difficulties in finding the right workers with the right skills. In order to address this issue in the light of "green" policies FIEC is participating in the SKILLCO project, co-financed by the European Commission. The project is coordinated by the Chamber of Construction and Building Materials Industry of Slovenia (CCIS CCBMIS) and gathers social partners organisations and training providers from Germany, Hungary and Slovenia. The main goals of the project are to define and identify existing and anticipated skill needs, to develop and define learning units, with the use of ECVET (European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training) principles, that could be integrated in formal VET (Vocational Education and Training) programmes or used as training courses.


Updated Commission's webportal shows that Cohesion Policy implementation is gaining speed

For the implementation of Cohesion Policy through the five European Structural and Investment Funds during the current financial period 2014-2020, last year brought a breakthrough. During 2016, the selection rate of operations increased significantly from 8% to 28% of the Cohesion Policy allocations. The data reveals that the acceleration of investments was particularly marked towards the end of 2016. Including national co-financing, €176 billion is already being invested through Cohesion Policy across the EU's 263 regions.  
Earlier this month, the Commission launched an upgraded version of the Open Data Platform. This website provides data on financing and achievements of Cohesion Policy for 2014-2020. It has now been updated with the December 2016 data with details on progress by Fund, by Member State and by programme. 

Progress in the implementation of the Juncker Plan

The Juncker Plan is now expected to trigger more than €177 billion in total investments. These figures follow a meeting of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Board of Directors earlier this month. This comes just two years after the Plan was launched by the Juncker Commission and represents well over half of the €315 billion target of total investment that was originally earmarked.
The operations approved under the EFSI represent over €32 billion and are located in all 28 Member States. The EIB has now approved 197 EFSI-backed infrastructure projects worth over €24 billion. The European Investment Fund (EIF) has approved 264 SME agreements, with total financing under the EFSI of over €8 billion. Over 400,000 SMEs and Midcaps are expected to benefit from these agreements.
FIEC is now working on the proposed extension of the Juncker Plan ("EFSI 2.0"). EU Finance Ministers already gave their support to this proposal in December 2016 and the European Parliament is speeding up its own review in order to match the deadline of June 2017.



Juan LAZCANO re-elected as President of the CNC (Spain)

Juan LAZCANO has been re-elected - on 16th March 2017 - for a new four-year term as President of the Confederación Nacional de la Construcción (CNC) in Spain.
Mr. LAZCANO is a member of the Executive Committee and Board at the Spanish Confederation of Employers' Organisations and he is also the President of the Fundación Laboral de la Construcción (FLC).
“It is time to reinvent construction by promoting the creation of an  innovative and sustainable industry that contributes to a competitive economy, social progress and job creation" highlighted the President of CNC is his speech. 
This year CNC celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Jacques CHANUT re-elected as President of the FFB (France)

Jacques CHANUT has been re-elected - on 17th March 2017 - for a further mandate of 3 years as President of our French Member Federation FFB (Fédération Française du Bâtiment).
During this second term as President of the FFB, Mr. Chanut will continue to pursue his priority of  developing construction activity in a fair and competitive market, with less constraints for the contractors and SMEs.  Such a fair market should also result in increased employment.
FIEC - The European Construction Industry Federation
Avenue Louise 225
B-1050 Brussels
Commission register ID number: 92221016212-42

Responsible for the publication: Ulrich Paetzold
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