EBC launch messages for EU legislature 2024-2029 to empower construction SMEs and crafts to lead the way to a sustainable built environment

Ahead of the European elections and changes in the European Commission, EBC shared its messages for a European Union (EU) that stands on the side of construction SMEs and crafts in the 2024-2029 legislature. During an event at the European Parliament co-hosted by MEPs Brando Benifei (S&D, Italy) and Henk Jan Ormel (EPP, the Netherlands), construction SMEs highlighted how to empower them to deliver a sustainable built environment.
Over the 2019-2024 European mandate, policymakers vigorously articulated, negotiated, and adopted legislations to place the EU on the forefront of the Paris Agreement goals and combatting climate change. In the spirit of the European Green Deal, all sectors of the economy must contribute to delivering a climate neutral continent by 2050. And the construction sector is no exception.

Representing around 10% of the EU’s GDP, and a workforce of 15 million workers, the sector is pivotal in helping Europe decarbonise by 2050. While construction is key for the EU, SMEs are vital for construction, as the sector is comprised by 99.9% of medium, small, and micro companies.

Overcoming major crises and sometimes heated debates, the Green Deal and Renovation Wave strategies have been translated into law. The ambitions to double renovation rates and strive for a climate-neutral building stock must now be set in accelerated motion on the ground.
This was at the heart of the breakfast event ‘The path forward for empowered construction SMEs and a sustainable built environment’ at the European Parliament that marked the release of EBC messages for the EU legislature 2024-2029.

EBC President, Philip van Nieuwenhuizen stated: “After a legislative cycle recognising the importance of buildings and construction, a new political era is just around the corner. To deliver climate-neutral buildings, construction SMEs require a stable and investment-friendly climate to plan and secure their activity. Renovating almost the entirety of the building stock is a herculean task that requires pragmatism, commitment, and efforts. Now is the time to get to work.”
Construction SMEs and crafts are significant providers of local jobs and boosters of local economies, with the green and digital transition offering potential for sustained activity and opportunities to attract new talent. Ready and eager to continue their efforts for a renovated and energy-efficient built environment, EBC and its construction SMEs and crafts call for: 

  1. A stable regulatory framework to implement the Green Deal and Renovation Wave acquis
  2. An inclusive labour market and a strengthened skilled workforce
  3. A fair internal market with SME at the centre of policies for construction
  4. A safer, resilient, and more sustainable construction through well-directed funds and financing
  5. A more innovative and digital construction supported by SME-friendly standards

The co-hosts of the event MEPs Brando Benifei (S&D) and Henk Jan Ormel (EPP) welcomed the messages and insisted on the need to continue recognising the importance of the construction sector for the European economy and society. In a full-room, the discussion and reactions continued with Katharina Knapton-Vierlich, Head of Unit Construction at DG GROW; Oliver Rapf, Executive Director at Buildings Performance Institute Europe; Véronique Willems, Secretary General at SMEunited; Rolf Gehring, Political Secretary at the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers EFBWW; and the audience.
EBC Secretary General Fernando Sigchos Jiménez concluded: “Local SMEs and artisans have always been the hands-on force behind the construction sector, constructing, maintaining, and fixing our everyday buildings, infrastructure and facilities with innovative solutions and skilled expertise. A decisive challenge over the next five years lies in putting to practice, clarifying and decomplexifying the constellation of rules applying to energy efficient renovations, but also new built, for a chance to get back on track towards decarbonised buildings by mid-century.

To read the EBC messages for the EU legislature 2024-29, click here

To read the full press release, click here