In the context of its steering efforts to prepare the review of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR), the German Presidency organized a three-day conference named: “Construction Products – Fit for the Future” on 18-20 November. The debates were mostly focused on standardisation issues around the expected CPR review, but sustainability for construction products and works was also a preeminent topic.
At this occasion, the European Commission (EC) reaffirmed the needs to reconcile the CPR with the high-quality requirements needed legally and to resolve the standardization issues around it. The legislative proposal for the CPR review is expected for the second half of 2021, as the EC is also waiting for the rulings of two pending court cases particularly important for the non-citation issues of harmonised standards (hENs).
The EC also informed of an initiative with the involvement of the German Presidency to review 3 pilot standards submitted by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) and drafted following the newly adopted CEN guidelines (Guide 36 & “Core rules”). Depending on the results of this assessment, either the resolution of the standard backlog becomes realistic, or on the contrary, more substantial changes of the standardisation system are to be expected.
During the event, Ms Kathrin Dingemann, co-author of the “Legal opinion on the European System of Harmonised Standards” commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, stated that standards should not be required to fulfil all legal conditions as they are not comparable to other European legal acts. She even argued that the EC does not have the mandate to perform an exhaustive technical control of the standard submitted to citation.
Building on current extensive exchanges with the European Builders Confederation (EBC), Construction Products Europe reaffirmed the urgent need for the construction sector to have short term solutions to the current challenges faced in standardisation. The organisation representing producers of building materials emphasized that the industry needs a common technical language to be provided through hENs, containing the list of the Essential Characteristics (ECs), specific assessment methods and a clear procedure to fill in Declarations of Performance (DOP).
MEP Christian Doleschal (PPE/Germany), member of the Internal Market committee (IMCO) of the European Parliament and author of the preliminary report on the CPR review, supported this call from the industry. He called the EC to catch up with the standards backlog, thus giving it a priority to find quick immediate solutions.
EBC will continue its in-depth work with construction stakeholders to ensure that any revision of the CPR takes into account the specificities and needs of the sector and all its SMEs.
|The recording of the online conference titled “Construction Products Fit for the Future” organized by the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union is available in:
German French English