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According to first estimates released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, the seasonally adjusted production in the construction sector fell by 0.4% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.9% in the EU27 in November 2012, compared with the previous month. In October 2012, production remained stable in the euro area and increased by 2.8% in the EU27.
LIVE FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION
Ireland took over presidency of the Council of the European Union
On January 1, for the seventh time, Ireland took over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. The current Irish Presidency is focusing primarily on the objectives of achieving stability, jobs and growth. In the difficult environmental environment, the Irish Presidency will work on immediate, short-term tasks facing the Union, but also places equal importance on the establishment of a permanent basis for stability.
Ireland also will focus on the strengthening the EU’s approach to development policy, so that aid can be effective, sustainable and supportive of the basic values of the Union. Furthermore, the presidency set other priorities as well such as:
-putting a spotlight on youth unemployment
-legislation to promote the digital economy and measures aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises
-a focus on the potential of natural resources, on land as well as at sea
-promotion of trade agreements and the pursuit of the enlargement agenda.
On 18 December 2012, the European Parliament’s Internal Market Committee adopted amendments tabled to the Public Procurement Directive. MEPs voted more flexible procedures, greater legal certainty and binding rules on respect for social and environmental criteria.
Furthermore, MEPs chose to eliminate the lowest price as the criterion for awarding contracts, for example contracts should go to the economically most advantageous bid, taking account of criteria related to sustainability, life cycle costs and respect for social and environmental criteria. Another significant contribution of the amendments is that, to submit a bid, companies will have to comply with environmental and labour legislation, otherwise they will be excluded. The level of subcontracting wasn’t limited, as initially sought by the Rapporteur.
The European Parliament Internal Market Committee adopted its own initiative report as a response to the European Commission’s Communication on single market governance issued on 8 June 2012. The report recommends clearer and more stringent governance of the single market and a legislative proposal to ensure better enforcement of single market legislation. MEPs called for better impact assessment before legislative proposals are adopted. Furthermore, on transposition of single market legislation, the deputies recommended zero tolerance of member states’ failures to implement the rules properly.
The vote in plenary is foreseen for February 2013.
NEWS IN BRIEF
NATIONAL AWARD WINNERS
Most Outstanding Project in Precast Concrete:
Smets Premium Store Brussels, Belgium
Smets Concept Store Brussels is the Brussels branch of the Luxembourg fashion empire Smets. The owners deliberately did not choose the elegance of the Avenue Louise; instead they chose a more easily accessible part of Brussels. The main part of the building is made out of precast concrete. Concrete remains visible in the interior and with the use of precast beams, large lengths of almost 10 metres were easily spanned, making it possible for almost half of the pillars to be left out. The construction of the building is made up of concrete slab flooring, double walls, beams, solid walls, double T elements and pre-stressed floor elements, all made of precast concrete. All of this guarantees 4000m2 of shopping and design fun.
5-7 February 2013
19 February 2013
BIBM Technical Commission
20-22 February 2013
CEN/TC 104 and CEN/TC 104/SC 1
26 February 2013
CEPMC Sustainability Working Group
27 February 2013
CEPMC CPR Working Group
26 February 2013
CEPMC Executive Board
5 March 2013
BIBM Product Group “Wastewater engineering”
5 March 2013
NEPSI employers meeting
14 March 2013
ECTP – Focus Area Materials
27 March 2013
European Construction Forum
27 March 2013
Workshop on “Use of Websites under the CPR”
19 April 2013
24 April 2013
BIBM Board meeting