The European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) represents 31 national federations of the building industry in 26 European countries plus Turkey. This broad representation means that FIEC is recognized as an official interlocutor by the European Commission and thus as an institutional partner in discussions regarding the construction sector.
Without going into too much detail, we are going to take a look at the “FIEC Manifesto for Action” (2014-2019). This document sets out 10 action areas in order to support the building sector. The latter is presented as an element of economic growth and job creator, valid for the whole of the EU in a context of long-term sustainability.
The manifesto sets out to strengthen and reinforce a sector where problems connected with competition (different laws in different countries) and the economic crisis of recent years have left deep wounds.
Some points deal with possible solutions regarding investment, finance, fair competition, prompt payment, reductions in bureaucracy, insurance, …
Others aim to create infrastructure for connections, energy, the needs of urban development.
The document is clear and precise in its claims and that could be a valid starting point for discussion in the event of any meeting.
The document aims solely and exclusively to defend the sector. It gives the impression that it is possible, indeed desirable, to continue to build as much as and wherever we want.
There is scant reference to sustainability and no account is taken of the environment or of social dialogue with the exception of that relating to those working in the sector.
There is no mention of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular the goal of ending soil consumption by 2030.
There is no stress laid on recovery and reuse of existing buildings.
The relationship with institutions (European, national and local) goes in one direction only and seems to put forward a presumption of priority rights for the sector.
We invite comments, critiques and reflections from our readers.