While the Covid-19 pandemic is still ongoing and the analysis of its impact will require time, the European institutions are discussing the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the EU Recover Plan, notably the overall financial size of the package and its funding priorities.
In that context, EBC has identified lines of work to establish a recovery plan in which the construction sector and the built environment are among the highest priorities, as presented by EBC Secretary General during the last High-Level Tripartite Strategic Forum of Construction 2020 hosted by the European Commission.
Indeed, not only are there huge investments needs in our sector, both basic and for the green transition, high percentage of equity losses due to the crisis, and high investments needs in terms of social infrastructure, but the European Commission has explicitly targeted an “at least doubled” annual renovation rate of the existing building stock, with clear references to the energy efficiency of buildings, renovation, social and transport infrastructure in its different programmes as well.
We thus need to act immediately with an EU concerted action, developed on one side by the European Commission and on the other side by the whole European value chain, aimed at prioritising the built environment in the national demands for EU funding access.
In that sense, the European Commission is invited to carry out a proper assessment of funding opportunities for the built environment in the EU budget proposals, but also to immediately establish a platform with Member States to assess national initiatives and make sure they prioritise the built environment in all needed plans guide on the Recovery Plan opportunities. On their side, EBC and its Construction 2050 partners should cooperate with the EC in the assessment of the different programmes and keep a permanent dialogue with Member states with the support of their national associations. Among our initial ideas are:
- Recovery and resilience facility: ensure that the Renovation Wave is a priority in both the national recovery plans within the European Semester and the National energy and climate plans (NECPs)
- REACT-EU: follow national demands for the fund in 2020, 2021 and 2022 to highlight construction priorities
- Just Transition Fund and public loan facility: ensure that construction priorities are included in the just transition plans
- InvestEU and Solvency Support Instrument: engage with Member States to make sure that requested project financing targets construction priorities
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