Industrial policy: Construction sector
Impacts of EU legislation relating to Internal Market, Energy Efficiency, Environment, Health and Safety
All: construction industry, middle-sized and micro enterprises, industry associations, public authorities, EU country authorities, private organisations, trade unions, consultancies, other relevant stakeholders and citizens are welcome to contribute to this consultation.
Period of consultation
This consultation ran from 29 March 2016 to 20 June 2016.
Objective of the consultation
The aim of this consultation is to gather the experience, views and opinions of interested stakeholders and the public on the impact of current EU legislation for the construction sector. It asks about key procedures and issues affected by these legal instruments. The results will feed into the Fitness Check for the Construction Sector undertaken by the Commission which is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.
The Fitness Check is part of the Commission's Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT). It involves a comprehensive, evidence-based assessment of whether the current regulatory framework is proportionate and fit for purpose, and delivering as expected. Specifically, it assesses the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and EU added value of the abovementioned legislative framework.
The construction sector is at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy and is one of the keys to unlocking the 2020 vision for smart and sustainable growth and jobs. More than any other sector, the performance of the construction sector determines the development of the overall economy: not only does it generate almost 9% of GDP and provides 18 million direct jobs in the EU, construction consumes about €800 billion of intermediate products from various industrial sectors. The construction sector has been hit particularly hard by the financial and economic crisis. At the same time, the building sector is facing a number of challenges to mainstream practices to save energy, to minimise the sector's contribution to man-made climate change, and to minimise its total environmental impact in terms of emissions, material use, water use and waste generation, which is considerable.
Making buildings more energy- and resource-efficient is increasingly considered an urgent global challenge. Buildings are responsible for 40% of total final energy use, and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions in EU countries. Improving energy efficiency in buildings therefore represents important cost-effective potential for meeting the EU's targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and beyond.
To enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the construction sector in the EU, it is essential to ensure a properly and effectively functioning Internal Market for construction products and services, with a clear and predictable legal framework. It is also necessary to ensure that administrative and compliance costs are proportionate to the objectives pursued by the legislative acts.
In 2010, 13.4 million people were employed in the construction sector in the EU. Making them, and the rest of the workforce, safe in their working environment, and doing this in a way that protects workers without raising costs to businesses more than is necessary (which could lead to significant job losses) is a key social objective of EU legislation.
Protecting the environment across the EU and beyond is an urgent responsibility. The construction and use of buildings in the EU account for about half of all our extracted materials and energy consumption, about one third of water consumption, and generates about one third of all waste. Requiring control and minimisation of the waste we produce and making sure that major projects consider the environment through assessing possible impacts before a project is implemented are essential steps to realise resource efficiency gains and to protect our environment that is essential to maintain prosperity and high quality of life.
Therefore, the present public consultation offers a unique opportunity for society to provide direct feedback, identifying some of the main success factors, shortcomings or unintended effects offered by the legal framework.
Scope of the consultation
The Fitness Check focuses on 15 EU legislative texts in the policy fields of Internal Market, Energy Efficiency, Environment and Health & Safety - and, more specifically, on those provisions within these EU texts that may impact the construction sector. This public consultation asks about key procedures and issues affected by these instruments.
In particular, the open public consultation includes questions relating to the following EU legislative texts:
- Construction Products Regulation (No 305/2011)
- Professional Qualifications Directive (2005/36/EC)
- Services Directive (2006/123/EC)
- Late Payments Directive (2011/7/EU)
- Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU)
- Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (2010/31/EU)
- Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC)
- Energy Labelling Directive (2010/30/EU)
- Renewable Energy Sources Directive (2009/28/EC)
- Occupational Safety and Health Framework Directive (89/391/EEC)
- Directive on the Manual Handling of Loads (90/269/EEC)
- Directive on Temporary or Mobile Construction Sites (92/57/EEC)
- Asbestos Directive (2009/148/EC)
- Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC)
- Environmental Impact Assessment Directive (2011/92/EU)
This open public consultation begins with an introduction followed by two main sections, each asking questions on a group of EU legal acts in the areas of Internal Market and Energy Efficiency, and Environment and Health & Safety respectively. Each main section has various subsections.
Three sets of questions have been elaborated in order to gather the most relevant information from various stakeholders.
Results of this consultation will be published soon.