Kjetil Tonning of Norwegian contractor Veidekke has taken over as president of FIEC (the European Construction Industry Federation), having been formally elected at the federation’s general assembly in Brussels.
A civil and structural engineer, and business economist, Tonning became president elect in 2017, and now succeeds French contractor Jean-Louis Marchand, whose term of office has come to its statutory end.
Tonning has more than 30 years of professional experience in leading positions in national and international construction companies, and consulting engineering firms, as well as in the Norwegian army.
He is currently area manager, heavy construction, with Veidekke Entreprenør, Norway’s largest construction company.
He also holds honorary chairmanships and is on the boards of regional, national and European companies, and professional associations of contractors and consulting engineers.
With its 30 national member federations in 26 European countries, FIEC said it represented, without discrimination, construction enterprises of all sizes, from one person craftsmen and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) through to large international firms, from all building and civil engineering specialties, engaged in all kinds of working methods, whether operating as general/main contractors or as sub-contractors.
It said this wide-ranging representation had been officially recognised in a study undertaken on behalf of the European Commission, so that FIEC is the Social Partner representing employers in the European Sectoral Social Dialogue for Construction.
Tonning said that the key goals during his presidency would include FIEC’s ongoing and expanding collaboration, within and outside its member community, with EU policy makers and other stakeholders, built on dialogue, trust, patience and mutual respect.
Another goal would be FIEC’s focus on people, skills, health and safety, better working conditions, and attracting and keeping talent.
He said, “Our member federations do not work in isolation and cannot achieve the same results on their own for their members – the contractors – as they can achieve together, working with each other, with the FIEC secretariat at the heart of this collaboration.”
He said the value of collaboration was that a collective reaction had more impact.
“Therefore, at FIEC we spend our time looking for the common ground, not arguing about differences. This is the key to producing common positions and a stronger voice in the EU institutions.”
Alonside Tonning, the newly-elected members of the FIEC Steering Committee now includes a number of vice presidents.
These are Maria-Angeles Asenjo, representative for Spain; Emre Aykar, Turkey; Thomas Bauer, Germany; Lars M Carlsen, representative for the group including Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden; José Michaël Chenu, France; Philip Crampton representating Ireland and Portugal; Michail Daktylidis, Cyprus and Greece; Stefano de Marinis, Italy; Paul Depreter, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands; Philippe Dessoy, representative for EIC (European International Contractors); Lubomir Katchamakov, Bulgarian, Estonia, Hungary, Croatia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia; and Alexander Pongratz, Austria and Switzerland.