Today the European Builders Confederation sent a letter to President Jean-Claude Juncker and Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska to reject the proposal of the “Services Passport”. EBC joins the position of the other European construction social partners, which are against this proposal.
“Traditional” industries are based on fixed production units and mobile final products. In construction it is exactly the opposite, namely a production unit (the company with its workers) has to move where the final product is produced. Therefore, benchmarking construction with other sectors and taking the differences as a reason for having to propose measures to increase its cross-border mobility is an incorrect approach.
The vast majority of construction companies operate and will continue to operate mainly at a local/regional level, not necessarily because of administrative obstacles, but because of other barriers such as, for example, the language, technical requirements, cultural differences, customer relations etc.
Furthermore, the proposed “Services Passport” may generate additional problems, facilitate cross-border frauds and disrupt the effectiveness of controls undertaken by labour inspectorates.
For all these reasons, EBC does not see any need for a “Services Passport” in order to increase the provision of cross-border services.
The Commission should therefore drop this initiative, following a bottom-up approach. Not only did the sector not ask for it, but also all the relevant construction stakeholder organisations at European level have actively called for its rejection.