Concrete Persepectives January 2014



European solutions for social housing must cater for future societal, demographic and environmental changes, argues Patrick Declerck

The Parliament Magazine- BIBM article on affordable housing (28.01.2014)


CECODHAS “Affordable housing is key ‘social stabiliser’ for EU”

CECODHAS appeared in the Parliament Magazine with an article titled Affordable housing is key “social stabiliser for EU”. CECODHAS’s President, Kurt Eliasson expressed its views about the lack of EU level “decisiveness and a lack of political will” to find solutions to the housing crises in Europe. He called for imminent solutions and engagement, and urgent reform of the banking union.

Parliament Magazine – “Affordable housing is key ‘social stabiliser’ for EU” (23.01.2014)


Greece took over the Presidency of the Council if EU

From 1sts rotating presidency and presented its work programme for the next six months. This can be divided into four categories as follows:

·Growth, jobs and cohesion

·Further integration of EU and eurozone

·Migrations, borders and mobility

·Maritime policies


The main goal of the presidency is to maintain and increase economic growth and stability while preserving and strengthening the European social and economic model. Safeguard the stability of the common currency by advancing the deepening of the EMU, by promoting policies and actions to remedy and restore initial deficiencies in the Euro area architecture.

During the Greek Presidency, several environmental issues will be tackled by the European Union. On 22 January, the European Commission issued a 2030 Climate and Energy package which will modify the goals of EU’s climate and energy policy.

Also, the DG Environment is expected to issue a Circular economy package which will revise the current waste and resource efficiency targets.

Furthermore, an alternative fuel strategy will be discussed in trialogue negotiations between the Council, European Parliament and Commission.

As for migration policies, the Presidency will focus its efforts to stress the positive aspects of a migration, such as the benefit of boosting growth. Additionally, it envisages further actions to tackle the problems arising from illegal migration in economy, social cohesion and political stability.

Greek Presidency priorities


Fire Safety First campaign launched

Fire Safe Europe launched its online campaign “FireSafeFirst” on 28 January 2014, in the European Parliament, in the framework of a Roundtable discussion hosted by Fiona Hall MEP. Bill Duncan, Managing Director of Fire Safe Europe gave an introduction. He stressed the importance of fire safety and asked policy makers to work on a Fire Safe Europe during the next parliamentary term 2014-2019.

Fire Safe Europe



Live from the European Union


EU calls for immediate action on« European Industrial Renaissance »

On 22 January, the European Commission adopted a Communication on “For a European Industrial Renaissance”. The Communication urges Member States to recognise the central importance of industry for creating jobs and growth and to mainstream industry-related competitiveness concerns across all policy areas.

The communication aims at promoting a more business friendly Europe through actions to simplify the legislative framework. In this regard, key topics are:

·Facilitate the access to third country markets through harmonisation of international standards,

·Flexible, simpler public procurement rules,

·Patent protection


The following actions are foreseen to support the competitiveness of the European industry:


  • Developing the necessary infrastructures, offering a stable, simplified and predictable regulatory framework favourable for entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Secure access to energy and raw materials at affordable prices
  • European Financing instruments (COSME, Horizon 2020, Structural Funds)
  • Facilitating the progressive integration of EU firms and of SMEs in particular, in global value chains
  • Support innovation and industrial projects by creating alternative sources of financing


The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and IndustriAll Europe believes that the proposal lacks social dimension and actions which could “deliver education, training, social security and workers’ participation”- said industriAll Europe General Secretary Ulrich Eckelmann.


European Commission- Press Release

Communication For a European Industrial Renaissance

Press Release – ETUC & IndustriAll Europe



EU launches new 2030 climate and energy policy

On Wednesday 22 January, the Commission launched the 2030 framework for EU climate change and energy policies. The new package sets new climate and energy objectives for 2030. The new pillars of the 2030 policy framework are :

·reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% below the 1990 level, (EU2020 target was 20% reduction)

·an EU-wide binding target for renewable energy of at least 27%,

·renewed ambitions for energy efficiency policies,

·a new governance system and a set of new indicators to ensure a competitive and secure energy system


The new 2030 framework aims at ensuring regulatory certainty for investors and a coordinated approach among Member States, leading to the development of new technologies.


Next to the Communication, another legislative proposal was also published for a market stability reserve for the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) starting in 2021. Additionally, a report on energy prices and costs in Europe was issued as well, suggesting that the rising energy prices can be partly mitigated by ensuring cost effective energy and climate policies, competitive energy markets and improved energy efficiency.


According to EurActiv, industry groups, such as Business Europe described the initiative as positive for being simple and cost-effective. However environmentalist weren’t satisfied with proposal and claim that stricter, more serious in order to achieve the global warming 2°C targets.


As for energy efficiency, “the Commission’s analysis shows that a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 40% would require an increased level of energy savings of approximately 25% in 2030,” however no such a target was proposed.


Regarding the problem of carbon leakage, Tony Robson, the CEO of Knauf Insulation sadly noted that the “Commission has proposed a way forward that will drive costs up while ignoring energy efficiency – the only guaranteed, cost neutral way to drive competitiveness through reduced energy costs.” (EurActiv)


European Commission- 2030 Energy and climate package

Communication ona policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030

EurActiv article 23.01.2014


European Parliament approves new criteria for EU Procurement rules

On 15 January the European Parliament approved new EU rules on public procurement and concession contracts.New rules will ensure “better quality and value for money”.Furthermore, it introduces new award criteria that place more emphasis on environmental considerations, social aspects and innovation.


Another important aspect of the new rules is to lessen administrative burden for small and medium business. The bidding procedure for companies will be simpler, with a standard “European Single Procurement Document” based on self-declarations.


The European Parliament also agreed to recommend the use of electronic tools such as Building Information Modelling 3D software tools (BIM) for public works contracts to encourage more efficient construction procedure in Europe. BIM is part of the e-procurement rules, which will be generalised after two years the new directives are introduced.


The directives will enter into force 20 days after publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. After this date, member states will have two years to implement the new rules into their national law.


European Parliament – Press Release

The Parliament Magazine- article


News in brief

January graphs Newsletter

National award winner projects


Precast in building award- Belgium

The Precast in building award has been won by AZ Groeninge. The building has white precast concrete façade. Indeed, this façade resumes well the full potential of precast concrete. It contains an integrated water flow system in the form of gutter which prevents the water from flowing along the facade.


For further information please click here.








3 February 2014

ECP TF Health, Environment and Hygiene

Brussels, Belgium


3 February 2014

ECP TF Sustainable Concrete

Brussels, Belgium


11 February 2014

Masonry Alliance – Europe

Brussels, Belgium


13 February 2014

ECP Board meeting

Brussels, Belgium


17 February 2014

Directors’ meeting

Ulm, Germany


18-20 February 2014


Ulm, Germany


20 February 2014

DG ENVI Resource Efficiency Final Workshop

Brussels, Belgium


20 February 2014

CEN/TC 104/TG 20/Editorial Panel
Paris, France


24 February 2014


Brussels, Belgium


25 February 2014

ECP Thermal Mass

Brussels, Belgium


26 February 2014

Environmental Commission (TBC)

Brussels, Belgium




4 March 2014

H&S Committee

Brussels, Belgium


5-7 March 2014

CEN/TC 104/SC 1 and CEN/TC 104

Vienna, Austria


11 March 2014

ECP TF Fire and Eurocodes

Brussels, Belgium


25 March 2014

BIBM Board meeting

Brussels, Belgium


27 March 2014

Concrete Initiative- Roundtable

Brussels, Belgium




4 April 2014

BIBM Technical Commission

Brussels, Belgium


14-15 April 2014


Ispra, Italy


17 April 2014

CEN/TC 229/WG 1 and WG4

Brussels, Belgium (tbc)


25 April 2014

CEN/TC 104/TG 20
Paris, France




21-23 May 2014

BIBM Congress

Istanbul, Turkey



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