European Commission aims to kick-start business

By Sarah Ann McCay29 April 2013

The European Commission has launched four new initiatives aimed at helping construction-related companies get ahead in business when expanding across the European Union.

Noting that the construction industry, including construction products, accounts for about 9.5% of GDP and 10% of the European workforce, the Commission has launched several programmes to reinvigorate business, especially in Spain, Ireland and the Baltic countries.

The Construction Products Regulation (CPR), which will be applied in July 2013, has been set up to simplify the law by providing a common technical language that all manufacturers are encouraged to use. The CPR aims to increase market transparency to the benefit of designers, builders, contractors and other sectors.

The European Commission has also launched its European Construction Information Platform (CrIP) construction search engine. Available in nine languages, CrIP is a web search engine focused on construction documents published by European official websites.

As take up for low-energy building remains limited, the EU has launched an action plan that aims to stimulate favourable investment conditions with incentives such as reduced VAT rates; boost innovation and improve labour qualifications and mobility; improve resource efficiency and environmental performance; provide standard design codes of practice for construction companies; and bolster the global position of European construction enterprises.

And finally, the EU is also pushing its Eurocodes technical standards as the foundation for structural design of buildings. Developed by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), at the request of the European Commission, Eurocodes consist of a set of European standards covering aspects such as bridge design, safety, serviceability and seismic actions.

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