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ECEC Newsletter December 2017

14th ECEC General Assembly Meeting 2017 in Skopje

On Saturday, 21 October 2017, the 14th General Assembly Meeting of the European Council of Engineers‘ Chambers took place at the Marriot Hotel in Skopje, Macedonia, hosted by the Chamber of certified architects and engineers of Republic of Macedonia and its President Prof. d-r Mile Dimitrovski. More information / photos

ECEC at Single Market Forum on 9 November 2017 in Brussels

This year’s Single Market Forum 2017 focused on “Professional Services: How does Regulation matter?

It was based on the experiences from the mutual evaluation of regulated professions (2014-2016) and presented once more the objectives of, and recent findings resulting from, the Services Package adopted in January 2017.
SG Klaus Thürriedl, who participated for the ECEC, stressed in his statement that in regard to engineers the main obstacles to mobility are not based in professional legislation but in a high number of building regulations and standards and also very simply in different languages.  Additionally he pointed out that taking economic growth as sole scale for political decisions is problematic:  It is a fact that damages originating in defective engineering can also be a considerable source of growth. So growth can never be the sole objective.

Conference Video

ECEC at World Engineering Forum / WFEO General Assembly in Rome in December 2017

Fil rouge of this year's forum was "Safeguarding the heritage of mankind: a great challenge for engineers". The focus was on the engineering support offered to the social and economic development, with special reference to the decisive role of engineering in sustainable development and technological innovation. WEF 2017 gave a clear message to the Worldwide Community about importance of preserving humankind Heritage with Innovations and Inventiveness with the appeal that Engineers have to safeguard humankind’s heritage (vs. natural disaster, wars, terrorist acts and others) in perspective of Sustainable Development.

The WFEO GAM elected a new president of the WFEO, Prof. Dr. Ke Gong from China, who is taking over in 2020, and a new Executive Vice-President, Dr. Reginald Vachon from the USA.

ECEC was represented at the World Engineering Forum in Rome from 26th November to 2nd December 2017 by President Remec, for the WFEO General Assembly meeting on 2 December 2017 SG Thürriedl also joined the event.

ECEC at General Union of Palestinian Engineers

Remec, Abdelhamid

After the Invitation of Eng. Marwan Abdelhamid, Secretary General of the General Union of Palestinian Engineers (GUPE), Mr Remec, President of the ECEC, attended the extended Higher Council Meeting, which was taking place last November in Ramallah, Palestine. Eng. Marwan Abdelhamid – as former President of the WFEO - received the ECEC Medal at the ECEC General Assembly Meeting in October 2017 in Skopje for his achievements in strenghening the position of the ECEC within the Community of Engineering Organisations worldwide. >More details

ECEC upcoming events

ECEC Working Group “Public Procurement of Engineering Services” – request for nominations

 As agreed at the 14th ECEC General Assembly in Macedonia on 21 October 2017 the ECEC is going to implement a working group on Public Procurement of Engineering Services as a follow up of the WGs on the price/quality relationship and on tariffs.
The aim of the WG is drafting ECEC “guidelines” for the public procurement of engineering services - including the definition of quality criteria - based on commonly agreed principles (e.g. MEAT only, objective and project-related criteria, independent commissions, anonymous tender evaluation etc.).
The “guidelines” shall then be conveyed to persons of responsibility in Europe and the individual member states.
Another focus of the WG is reflecting on the legal, technical and financial issues surrounding BIM and its impact on the profession and possibly formulating common recommendations.
The working group will be chaired by Vice-President Letzner and the first meeting will be held on Saturday, 20 January 2018 in Vienna. Interested ECEC member organisations that have not yet replied are asked to nominate a participant as soon as possible.

Extraordinary General Assembly in Brussels on Sunday, 11 March 2017

As the ECEC has transformed into the legal personality of an Aisbl according to Belgian law in Oktober 2017 there are new accounting requirements to consider, e.g. the adoption of the yearly final balance within six months. This means that exceptionally in 2018 there will be an additional GAM in the first half of 2018.
Date:  Sunday, 11 March 2018, 11.00 – 16.00
Location: Hotel NH Collection Du Grand Sablon, Brussels

ECEC member organisations  will receive further information by e-mail soon. Another General Assembly Meeting with the election of a new Executive Board will Take place in Croatia, as usual in autumn 2018.

EU News

European Commission’s Public Procurement Package: Increasing the impact of public investment through efficient and professional procurement

On 3rd October 2017 the European Commission has presented a strategy to increase efficiency and professionality in public procurement based on four focus points: 
The Communication: Making public procurement work in and for Europe encourages Member States to develop a strategic approach to procurement policies, focusing on six priorities: greater uptake of innovative, green and social criteria in awarding public contracts; professionalization of public buyers; improving access by SMEs to procurement markets in the EU and by EU companies in third countries; increasing transparency, integrity and quality of procurement data; digitisation of procurement processes; and more cooperation among public buyers across the EU.
The Guidance on professionalization of public buyers shall ensure that public procurers have the necessary theoretical and practical skills and knowledge in order to conduct procurement procedures correctly.
Additionally in the future an ex-ante assessment of the EU legislation conformity of large infrastructure projects will be available. The mechanism is voluntary, the Commission's advice is non-binding, and information will be handled confidentially.

PLEASE NOTE: Additionally the European Commission has launched a targeted Consultation on stimulating innovation through public procurement to collect feedback from stakeholders on how to stimulate innovation through the procurement of goods and services.

The consultation is open until 31 December and will feed into future guidance for public authorities, addressing issues such as how to set a strategy, organise support for innovation procurement or use innovation-friendly procurement tools.
> Link to the Consultation  > Further information on the initiative

Infringement procedure against Austrian professional law for Chartered Engineers

On 7 December 2017  the Commission decided to refer Austria to the Court of Justice of the EU due to overly restrictive rules on the provision of services by architects, engineers, patent attorneys and veterinarians.

Austrian legislation currently imposes a number of requirements on regulated professions:
  • Seat requirements for architects, engineers and patent attorneys;
  • Legal form and excessive shareholding requirements for architects, engineers, patent attorneys and veterinarians;
  • Restrictions on multidisciplinary companies for architects, engineers and patent attorneys.
The Commission holds the view that these requirements create unjustified obstacles to the provision of services by these professions and run counter to the freedom to provide services (Articles 49 and 56 of Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, TFEU) and to the Services Directive (Articles 14, 15 and 25 of Directive 2006/123/EC).

The Austrian legislative proposal for a new law for architects and chartered engineering consultants, that tries to take into account the view of the European Commission wherever possible without completely giving up the concept of an independent chartered engineering profession, was already transmitted to the EC already earlier this year. It did not prevent the EC decision.

So  in addition to the case against the German HOAI there is now another case before the Court of Justice that is extremely important in regard to the future of the Engineering profession.

For further information please contact the ECEC Secretariat.

Infringement procedures over missing transpositions of Procurement Directives

On 7 December 2017 the European Commission has announced to take Austria, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Spain to the Court of Justice of the EU over the failure to notify complete transposition of EU rules on public procurement and concessions (Directives 2014/23/EU, 2014/24/EU, 2014/25/EU) into national law.

EC Services Package – Current status

The EP reports in regard to the proportionality test and the notification procedure were adopted in the IMCO Committee on 4 December 2017. The positions between Council and European Parliament are not so far apart although there are still some differences. The trialogue negotiations are expected to start at the end of January.
The Danti report was also adopted in the Committee on 4 December 2018. The vote in Plenary is scheduled for 18 January 2018. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil 
The proposals in regard to the Services e-card are not so far advanced yet. On 30 November the EP ITRE Committee (Industry, Research and Energy) has called on the IMCO Committee to reject the COM proposal for the Services e-Card.

ECEC Timetable 2018 - current status

WG Public Procurement of Engineering Services

20 January 2018

ECEC EB in Brussels

10 March 2018

ECEC GAM in Brussels

11 March 2018

ECEC EB in Poland

9 June 2018

ECEC GAM in Croatia

Autumn 2018