- On 28 February 2012, the European Commission released figures concerning the Business Climate Indicator and Economic Sentiment Indicator for February. The figures show that both indicator increased in the past month. Confidence in industry improved in both the EU (+1.8) and the euro area (+1.2). Employment expectations deteriorated in all business sectors except construction.
- According to the figures released by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union on 22 February 2012, the industrial new orders index increased by 1.9% in the euro area in December 2011, after a fall of 1.1% in November 2011. In the EU27 new orders increased by 1.3% in December 2011.
- On 21 February 2012, the European Commission released the Flash Consumer Confidence Indicator for February 2012. The figures show that the consumer confidence indicator improved in both the EU (up to -20.1 from -20.8 in January 2012) and the euro area (up to -20.2 from -20.7 in January 2012).
- On 15 February 2012, Eurostat released a flash estimate on the EU GDP for the fourth quarter of 2011. The figures show that GDP fell by 0.3% in both the euro area (EA17) and the EU27 in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with the third quarter of 2011. The growth rate of the GDP was the highest in Slovakia (0.9%), while the largest decrease in Portugal (-1.3%).
- On 14 February 2012, according to the figures released by Eurostat, seasonally adjusted industrial production fell by 1.1% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.6% in the EU27 in December 2011 compared with November 2011. The industrial production data compared with December 2010, decreased by 2.0% in the euro area and by 0.9% in the EU27.
- On 10 February 2012, the Monthly Labour Market Fact sheet was published. The EU unemployment rate was 9.9% (23.8 million people) in December 2011. Youth unemployment remains very high, it stood at 22.1% in December 2011. European consumers’ expectations on unemployment remain pessimistic, while employment prospects remain gloomy in the tertiary sector and in construction.
- On 6 February 2012, Eurostat published for the first time quarterly data on government debt. The figures released show that at the end of the third quarter of 2011, the government debt in the euro area (EA17) is 87.4%, slightly decreased compared with the figure at the end of the second quarter of 2011. However, in the EU27 the ratio increased from 81.7% to 82.2%. Furthermore, the euro area inflation rate estimated at 2.7% in January 2012, the same as in December 2011.
- According to Eurostat figures released on 17 February 2012, the seasonally adjusted construction output rose by 0.3% in the euro area (EA17) and fell by 0.4% in the EU27 in December 2011, compared with the previous month. The highest increases were recorded in the Czech Republic (+5.5%), while the largest decreases in the United Kingdom (-10.5%). Building construction increased by 1.5% in the euro area and by 0.4% in the EU27.
LIVE FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION
- On 28 February 2012, the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee adopted the EU draft Directive on Energy Efficiency. The draft directive proposes compulsory energy saving targets for member states by 2020. The draft report now will be discussed during a three-way negotiation with the Council, while the first plenary reading likely to be scheduled in June.
- 21 February 2012, the Council of the European Union adopted a directive aimed at exempting very small companies from accounting and financial reporting obligations. The directive will allow EU member states to exempt micro-enterprises from the publication of annual accounts.
- On 20 February 2012, the Council of the European Union hold its first debate on the Public Procurement. Member states supported the European Commission’s proposal, but debate continues over the degree of flexibility to be introduced. The Working Group on Public Procurement will come up with political conclusions by May 2012.
- On 20 February 2012, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the future of European company law. The consultation aims at collecting comments from all stakeholders on several issues such as objective and scope of the EU company law, as well as cross-border mobility and capital regime. The consultation will run until 14 May 2012.
- On 15 February 2012, the European Parliament adopted an own-initiative report on Eurobonds. The non- binding resolution responds to the Green Paper issued by the European Commission on 23 November 2011. Well-designed stability bonds are believed to be able to improve liquidity in the bond market, but also bind in rules on budgetary discipline.
- On 15 February 2012, the European Commission opened a public consultation on the Financial Support for Energy Efficiency in Buildings. The objective of the consultation is to collect the views of stakeholders on how the financial support for energy efficiency measures aimed at improving the energy performance of buildings could be improved. The Consultation will be opened until 18 May 2012.
- On 31 January, the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public health and Food safety adopted the report on the Low Carbon Roadmap. The report of the Environment Committee calls for more investment in green technologies and improvements to the emissions trading system (ETS) in order to help meet EU targets for a minimum reduction of 80% in CO2 emissions by 2050.
NATIONAL AWARD WINNERS
In this edition, you can learn more about a Dutch prize winner in “Category Water constructions” in 2011.
Sluis 0124 (sluice-gate), Amsterdam
The doors of Sluice-gate 0124 in Amsterdam are made by Haitsma Beton. It’s the first time that sluice-gate doors are made of precast concrete.
The jury spoke highly about this novelty and thinks these doors will be used a lot more in the future.
6 March 2012
CEN Workshop – EPDs and Product Standards
16 March 2012
British Precast Scotland
20 March 2012
BIBM Product Group Pipes
22 March 2012
SAFECAST final conference
28 March 2012
Meeting BIBM-CEMBUREAU Presidents
3 April 2012
BIBM Product Group Hollowcores
13 April 2012
European Construction Forum
17 April 2012
BIBM Board meeting
26-27 April 2012
CEN/TC 229 Plenary Meeting
4 May 2011
BIBM Communication Commission
12-15 May 2012
24 May 2012
BIBM General Assembly
31 May 2012
ECP Board and General Assembly