Europe’s construction sector has issued a joint statement calling for urgent measures to protect workers’ health, support economic activity and help the sector to recover in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The statement, drawn up by 15 bodies including the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC), the Committee for European Construction Equipment (CECE) and the continent’s Demolition and Rental associations, also called on the European Commission to open a dialogue with industry stakeholders “as soon as circumstances allow it”.
Specific short-term measures requested of European Member States are as follows:
- Put in place tailor-made health and safety measures, protocols and guidelines with the active involvement of relevant stakeholders
- Support the construction supply chain by putting in place measures allowing the efficient functioning of the EU (European Union) internal market
- Carry out massive support and stimulus programmes
- Ease the administrative burden and the conditions for employers to implement temporary unemployment measures.
The statement added: “A performing construction supply chain is crucial for maintaining the activity, with proper health and safety conditions. It is therefore essential to guarantee the circulation of construction products; equipment and provision of services in full respect of the instructions delivered by public health authorities.
“In this context, we call upon public authorities to take into account the scale of the disruption to our sector and to prevent the foreseen economic downturn from becoming a meltdown of historic proportions with far-reaching social consequences.”
The full list of participants in the joint statement – who together employ 16 million Europeans and contribute 9% of EU gross domestic product – is: FIEC (European Construction Industry Federation); EBC (Construction SMEs Europe); Construction Products Europe; CECE; Housing Europe; International Union of Property Owners; European Rental Association, RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors); European Electrical Contractors Association; GCP Europe; European Council of Civil Engineers; Build Europe; European Demolition Association; UNIEP (International Association of Painting Contractors) and EFCA (European Federation of Consultancy Associations).