"Half-way through my mandate as President of FIEC, the European Construction Industry Federation, I would like to emphasise that the construction sector has a central role to play in driving the EU’s green transition.
As a key priority, FIEC has developed and shared its own strategic vision on sustainability and has been engaging with EU institutions and other global actors to find solutions to reaching the EU Green Deal goals and maximising the growth potential of the Renovation Wave.
We have been extremely active on other key issues shaping our industry:
We have made considerable advances in health and safety, partnering with campaigns launched by the European Labour Authority and the EU Agency for Health and Safety at Work.
We have also signed up to initiatives at EU level, such as the Pact for Skills in Construction to support upskilling and reskilling of workers in our sector, as well as vocational and educational training.
The federation closely follows the latest developments on policies related to the construction labour force, construction product regulation, public procurement rules, the late payment directive, foreign subsidies and standardisation.
The benefits of digitalisation, the integration of EU taxonomy, development of Europe’s infrastructure, and of the need for a level-playing-field with state-owned construction enterprises from Third Countries, are also important areas for the federation.
All these initiatives generate huge opportunities, but also several challenges:
Across the federation we must work to attract new construction workers into the sector, continually upskill our workers in the latest technologies and we must inspire young people around careers in construction.
High interest rates, financial shocks, rising prices and supply chain disruption hinder industry performance. FIEC analyses the potential impact of geo-political uncertainties and issues statistical reports, data and recommendations to support our members.
Housing the growing population is one of the biggest challenges facing countries across Europe. Yet in several of our member countries, high costs linked to materials and interest rates are challenging the home building sector and triggering a downturn. FIEC is working in Brussels to represent the experience of home builders across Europe and recommend policy measures to stimulate greater housing supply.
As we persevere in advancing the construction industry in Europe, we must not forget the people of Ukraine and our Ukrainian colleagues.
Throughout the conflict, we have been maintaining a strong partnership with our Ukrainian member federation, CBU, which is based in Kyiv, and discussing the country’s future.
With our sister organisation EIC – European International Contractors, we set up the Task Force “Ukraine” shortly before the summer last year, just after I took up the Presidency.
The task force focuses on issues related to the reconstruction phase, that will take place once the war is over. One of its main objectives is to ensure coordination between initiatives, as well as to share information and best practices that are taking place at EU and national level.
As a federation, it is our wish that the conflict will end as quickly as possible, so that the people of Ukraine can live again peacefully and without fear.
The EU elections will take place in June 2024, and they present a vital opportunity for us to engage with political representatives, so that we can deliver housing and infrastructure to fortify the European economy.
FIEC exists to support you at European level. Your feedback and concerns are essential, particularly in the lead up to these elections, and I assure you that we are here to listen and act.
I am proud and honoured to serve you as President and of the trust that has been placed in me by our members to represent your interests.
I firmly believe that as an industry, we have a strong collective voice in Europe with the potential to ensure that the spaces and built environment we create, not only meets the needs of the present, but future generations.
Let us continue to build a strong industry together, to innovate and to push boundaries, as we strive to deliver an exceptional built environment for Europe."