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European Builders Confederation
March 2017

Plenary vote on Circular Economy proposal: Reality of construction SMEs not taken into account


The European Parliament’s Plenary has adopted the four reports of MEP Simona Bonafé concerning waste management, the so-called Circular Economy Package. EBC, representing the voice of millions of small and medium-sized construction companies in Europe, is disappointed with the result of the vote in plenary.

The construction sector produces 30% of the EU’s waste, so our entrepreneurs are convinced about the need to contribute to the creation of a new circular economy model. However, this transition has to be feasible if we want it to happen for real and not just on paper.

The European Union has to provide small companies with the proper means to make a success out of this new legislative framework.


More and better apprenticeships in construction: EBC’s recommendations

The construction sector generally suffers from a lack of qualified labour. The challenges are both to ensure the training of an adequate number of new entrants to take over from retiring professionals and to upskill the existing workforce.

EBC therefore decided to provide some recommendations for policy-makers about the needs of the construction sector to develop more and better apprenticeships in the sector. This is a part of EBC’s commitment in the framework of the European Alliance for Apprenticeship.


EBC contributes to the EESC Study Group on the Energy Performance of Buildings


The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has created a Study Group to prepare an Opinion on the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. As EBC’s President Patrick Liébus is a member of the EESC and of this Study Group, EBC is contributing to this discussion underlining the positive role of the energy renovation works for the creation of jobs and growth.

The World Sustainable Energy Days (Austria, 1-3 March) are one of the biggest events about sustainable energy in Europe. At the Energy Efficiency Conference EBC addressed the topic of the key role of construction SMEs for the energy renovation of the European building stock. Read more...

Limit on silica dust voted by EMPL Committee is unrealistic for construction


EBC is unsatisfied with the outcome of the vote in the European Parliament’s Employment Committee on the revision of the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive at the end of February.

In particular, we are worried about the Binding Occupational Exposure Limit value related to “Respirable crystalline silica”(so-called silica dust). The EMPL Committee voted in favour of introducing a limit of 0.05 mg/ m3, lowering by half the 0.1mg/m3 limit recommended by the European Commission. However, this is limit is unrealist for the construction industry.


EBC welcomes Commission’s “zero tolerance” against late payments


EBC welcomes the decision of the European Commission to take further steps against ItalySpain, Greece and Slovakia on late payments by public authorities to companies. Late payments have a dramatic impact on businesses by reducing their liquidity and cash flow, complicating their financial management and in some cases even causing their default.

The Construction Voice is EBC's monthly newsletter that features facts, positions and decisions about EU policy impacting construction micro-enterprises and SMEs.
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