On 27 February, the European Commission published the report from the High Level Tripartite Strategic Forum on follow-up actions on the Communication and Action Plan Construction 2020. This report presents the outcome of the discussions of the High Level Strategic Forum (HLF) during 2013.This document reflects the state of playand does not prejudge possible adjustments of the strategy and of the vision of the HLF in 2014 depending on the effective implementation of its recommendations and new policy developments.
Main recommendations from the 5 thematic groups are:
- On Stimulating investment in building renovation, infrastructure and innovation: In order to stimulate the demand for energy efficiency and infrastructure upgrading the HLF recommends to better align the existing EU instruments for sustainable building renovation and infrastructure maintenance. Moreover, in order to capitalise on research programmes, the HLF suggests to give priority to demonstration projects and market oriented activities fostering the take-up of new knowledge and innovative approaches in building renovation and infrastructure maintenance.
- On Skills & Qualifications: The HLF suggests to strengthen the implementation of existing EU and MS instruments to ensure suitably qualified and sufficiently numerous human resources for energy-efficient building renovation and infrastructure maintenance. European quality assurance schemes should facilitate the mobility of workers and construction professionals and increase the attractiveness of the sector to young talents.
- On Sustainable use of natural resources: The HLF suggests to improve the comparability of the various existing methods for the assessment of the building environmental performances and to promote a single structure for the assessment of the environmental performance of construction products. Moreover, the factual information basis regarding C&D waste needs to be improved together with the promotion of assessment tools for material efficiency.
- On Internal Market: The HLF confirms that there is a need to assess the cumulative burden of EU legislation on construction products and service businesses. Further improved use of Eurocodes could also be beneficial for the Internal Market of construction services. Based upon the experiences gathered at MS level of market surveillance for construction products, the HLF puts emphasis on the need to guarantee enough resources by MS to ensure quality in the European construction industry. The HLF also suggests to assess how Member States have progressed with the integration of provisions related to sustainability in national building regulations and codes.
- On International Competitiveness: The HLF suggests to strengthen the promotion of EU construction industry know-how at international level and to maximize benefits of trade negotiations. Moreover, the HLF welcomes the current support measures and schemes for the internationalisation of EU construction SMEs and is keen to contribute to the development of possible new support measures and schemes.
In 2014, Construction 2020 and the HLF should aim to focus on 4 main priorities:
- Follow-up the suggested recommendations by the HLF (Section 1 of this document):
- Initiate Action Plan measures that have not yet been covered, such as: stimulating favourable investment conditions; improving the human capital basis; improving resource efficiency, environmental performance and business opportunities, strengthening the Internal Market for Construction and fostering the global competitive position of EU construction enterprises
- Establish links with other EU-institutions, and platforms, think-tanks, forums at MS level that share the thematic spirit of the "Construction 2020 Action Plan"
- Prepare the criteria/indicators for assessment and impact of the Construction 2020 Action Plan
Two other rounds of thematic groups’ meetings are scheduled in April and September 2014. The third High Level Strategic Forum is scheduled for December 2014.
To read the full report please click here.