Overseas News on Civil Engineering IT
Japanese English Korean Chinese
The European Construction Industry Federation iFIECj
Website name:
European Construction Industry Federation
URL: http://www.fiec.eu

This section focuses on a unique overseas website related to civil engineering IT. This issue features the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC: Federation de l'Industrie Europeenne de la Construction in French) that represents a wide range of construction enterprises carrying out building and civil engineering activities in Europe.

Representing Construction Industry in Europe, FIEC Works on Wide-Ranging Themes
FIEC was created in 1905 as a legal personality under French law. Since then, it has a history of 104 years.

Currently, FIEC is composed of 33 national Member Federations active in Europe. Through them, FIEC represents construction enterprises of all sizes from one person small and medium-sized enterprises through to the global, large firms, of all building and civil engineering specialities, practicing all sorts of working methods whether operating as general contractors or as sub-contractors. The members are from 28 countries (26 EU & EFTA, Croatia and Turkey).

FIEC has the General Assembly and the Council placed above others in its structure. Under these is the Steering Committee organized by President and Vice Presidents of FIEC. There are 3 Commissions below the Steering Committee: Economic and Legal Commission (ECO), Social Commission (SOC), and Technical Commission (TEC). Each of these Commissions are supported by Temporary Working Groups: for example, Accounting rules and financing, Reduced VAT, PPP and Concessions, Internal Market, EU Contract Law, and Public Procurement for ECO; Vocational Training, Health and Safety, and Economic and Social Aspects of Employment for SOC; Directives, Standards and Quality Assurance, Research, Development and Innovation, Environment, and Plant and Equipment for TEC. In addition, it establishes Ad-hoc Group TENs (Trans-European Transport Networks) and Ad-hoc Group SME (Small and medium-sized enterprises). FIEC also works in close cooperation with EIC (European International Contractors e.V.).

Annual Congress of the FIEC in 2009 was held in Madrid. Having the theme of the impact of the global economic crisis on the construction sector and its fundamental role on the road to recovery, the need for prompt investment in infrastructure and energy efficiency to combat the current downturn and promote sustainable development was the main message of the conference.

Present Situation of Construction Sector in Europe
"The Sector" in the Website enumerates the key figures that reflect the present situation of the construction sector in Europe.

First, estimated construction investment (EU 27 nations in 2008) is 1,305 billion Euro (about 176,017,500 million in Japanese yen at the conversion rate of 135 JPY to the euro). This represents 10.4% of GDP, and 49.2% of Gross fixed Capital Formation. There are about 3 million construction enterprises within EU. 95% of them are SMEs with fewer than 20 and 93% with fewer than 10 operatives. Next, 16.3 million operatives are working in the Construction industry, which represents 7.6% of Europe's total employment. Construction industry can be positioned as the biggest industrial employer in Europe. Moreover, 48.9 million workers in EU depend, directly or indirectly, on the construction sector, according to the website.

"Conferences/Speeches" includes presentation materials such as speeches given by those who represented FIEC in recent years. Furthermore, "Publications" publicizes materials issued by FIEC, classified under the groups of Position Papers, Annual Reports, Press Releases, and Other Publications.

Annual Reports from 2001 through 2009 can be viewed. For instance, Annual Report 2009 (dated June 1), includes President's message, Organization Chart, report of annual Congress of the previous year, trends and efforts of "Sustainable Construction" in Lead Market Initiative (LMI) that EC advocates; activities of ECO, SOC, TEC, TEN-T, SMEs, and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (MEDA); overview of Joint FIEC/EIC Working Group "Ethics"; cooperation with EIC, confederation of International Contractors' associations (CICA), and European Construction Forum (ECF), all of which are described in detail.

One of the Position Papers "FIEC contribution on the EC communication on the future of EU transport policy" shows FIEC's view of the new policy of EC announced in June 2009. In 2001, EC released a White Paper with an agenda for the European transport policy for 10-year period through to 2010. Approaching the end of the period, EC reconstructed its vision for the future of transport and mobility, preparing the ground for later policy developments. EC issued this with a title of "A sustainable future for transport: Towards an integrated, technology-led and user-friendly system", inviting all interested parties to contribute to the consultation exercise.

"The revision of EU transport policy is very closely related to the current parallel review and update of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) policy, and the issues at stake are similar in many cases", according to FIEC. FIEC consequently encourages further coordination of the work on these two issues in the best possible way in order to ensure coherency between the two.

Besides, FIEC makes an investigation on the construction activity in Europe. It provides information analyzing multiple countries separately and EU as a whole on such items as overview of general economic situation and government policy, building, civil engineering, employment, and investment.

Home page:
European Construction Industry Federation
Annual Report 2009
(Images provided by FIEC)

This article is written based on the above Web site with permission from FIEC.