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ECEC NEWSLETTER APRIL 2014

Opening of new ECEC Liaisons office in Brussels


On 18 March 2014 the ECEC Executive Board met for the first time in the premises of CEPLIS, where the new ECEC Liaisons office is located. After the working meeting the Executive Board members and some representatives of ECEC member organisations met with members of the European Parliament for an informal exchange during a working lunch.  Among the guests were Members of European Parliament Bernadette Vergnaud, the EP rapporteur for the new Professional Qualifications Directive that was published in December 2013 and Tanja Fajon.  Bernadette Vergnaud expressed her gratitude for the good cooperation and fruitful exchanges during the making of the Professional Qualifications Directive and for the support she often received from the professions. 



The ECEC President stressed the key role of European Chartered Engineers in regard to the practical implementation of the European Union’s action plans on sustainable building, on economic growth and innovation and their willingness to contribute with their high professional qualifications, technical knowledge and practical experiences to an innovative and sustainable development in Europe. He also officially presented ECEC Memorandum “Let Engineers build Europe” which is a catalogue of suggested measures for a healthy economy based on the practical experience of European Chartered Engineer and is addressed to the candidates for the EP elections in May 2014. ECEC member organisations are asked to use the memorandum in order to approach their national candidates for the EP elections 2014 and to initiate discussions and a deeper exchange process between profession and politics.


Associated Membership in ECEC


At the 10th ECEC General Assembly in Athens in October 2013 the ECEC member organisations took the decision to open up the ECEC to organisations that do not fulfil the strict accession criteria in regard to the requirement of being a representative public body based on national law representing chartered engineers registered according to national law. Associated members pay a fixed lump sum and are able to benefit from the whole ECEC information network and the lobbying activities. They are able to participate in working groups but will have no active and passive voting rights in the General Assembly. The ECEC has decided in October 2013 to take this step as it had shown that it might be helpful for the profession to cooperate closer also with national organisations which cannot fulfil the above mentioned requirements but share the aims of the ECEC. Now the first application for membership has been approved by the ECEC Executive Board on 18 March 2014. The application of the ICE (Institute of Civil Engineers UK) will be on the Agenda of the next ECEC General Assembly on 19 November 2014 and the ECEC Executive Board will recommend a positive vote. At the opening of the ECEC Liaisons office in Brussels the ICE was represented by Hamish Douglas.


ECEC's membership in WFEO

The ECEC Executive Board has decided to enhance international exchange with other Engineering organisations and has therefore applied for associated membership in the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO http://www.wfeo.net/ ).  In February 2014 the WFEO executive council has approved the ECEC membership in WFEO as Associate Member.  ECEC President Remec will meet WFEO President Marwan Abdelhamid in May 2014 in Lecce.


ECEC working group on CPD


The first meeting of the working group on CPD – which is chaired by ECEC Vice President Dragoslav Sumarac -  took place in Belgrade on 15 February 2014. The WG stressed again that the aim of the ECEC should be to enforce legally established mandatory CPD for European Chartered Engineers in all ECEC countries. In cases where this is not possible ECEC member organisations should establish such an obligation by decisions of their competent bodies.  The system suggested by the WG would be the implementation of a system of 100 CPD-Points in 5 years, 20 % on European subjects, 80% on national subjects. The ECEC Executive Board in its meeting on 18 March 2014 has asked the WG to prepare a framework / best practice guidelines for the implementation of CPD models on national level for the next General Assembly meeting.  Additionally the WG is planning to prepare a concrete model example on the topic of Energy Efficiency.


2nd European Engineers Day: Engineers build Europe

With the second Common European Engineers Day European Engineers will raise their voice again in order to transport important topics of the Engineering profession in Europe to professionals, public and politics. This time the event is co-organised by ECEC, ECCE and FEANI. Additionally other European Engineering organisations were invited to participate in the organisation of the event so that an even stronger message can be delivered to politics. Some of these organisations have already decided to do so (e.g. EFCA, CLAIU). 
 The topics of the event will range from Engineering education, the price/quality relationship in the provision of Engineering services, the role of self-regulation and professional regulation to questions of investments in construction and the export of engineering services to third countries. 
The event will take place on Thursday, 20 November 2014, approximately 10.00 a.m. in the Sofitel Brussels Europe (1040 Brussels). The organisation of the event is ongoing - the next meeting of the organising committee will take place in May 2014 in Lecce.


Save the date: ECEC General Assembly on 19 November 2014 in Brussels

To save travel costs and make the participation at the 2nd European Engineers Day on 20 November 2014 as easy as possible for the delegates of the ECEC member organisations the ECEC General Assembly has been fixed for Wednesday, 19 November 2014 (afternoon) at the Sofitel Brussels Europe (1040 Brussels). In the evening a reception at the Bavarian representation in Brussels is planned. Further details will be sent out as soon as possible.


European Professional Card for Engineers


The European Professional Card (EPC) is one of the main features of the new Professional Qualifications Directive (2013/55/EU) that was published on 28 December 2013. http://www.ecec.net/news/news/detail/?tx_ttnews[tt_news]=4&cHash=e9b7c6e97c60802ce30cc8b73d52cb50 . It shall make professional recognition faster and easier for the professional and is mainly an electronic certificate within the IMI system that can only be issued by the competent authority and only upon request of the professional.  The ECEC has stressed its support for the implementation of the European Professional Card (EPC) for the engineering profession once again in the General Assembly in Athens in October 2013 and at a Round Table Discussion in Maribor in November 2013. Additionally the ECEC member organisations have expressed their willingness to take over the procedure of issuing the EPC on national level or – in cases where they are not competent authorities themselves – cooperate with the competent authority.   The ECEC is now involved in the preparatory work for the implementation of the EPC. ECEC Secretary General Klaus Thürriedl is a member of the European Commission’s Focus Group on the European Professional Card. The Focus Group plays a consultative role on the issues which have to be settled in the implementing act in regard to the establishment of the EPC.  The European Commission is very determined to make the European Professional Card work on time in January 2016. Therefore the timetable of the Focus group is tight. The ECEC will continue to contribute to this implementation process.


Professional (De)Regulation – The Transparency Exercise

Article 59 of the new Professional Qualifications Directive (2013/55/EU) forsees a mutual evalution of regulated professions.  Member States have to supply the commission with information about all their professional regulations and have to justify their necessity. The procedure has already begun with the first phase in which the competent authorities in the Member States are obliged to update information about their professions (qualifications requirements, registration requirements , restrictions e.g. related to shareholding or voting rights and joint practices etc) in a special area within the EC regulated professions database. http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/qualifications/regprof/index.cfm?lang=en

The next step is a more detailed screening of regulations. This is done in two clusters. Based on criteria like number of countries regulating the profession, degree of mobility, economic importance, impact on innovation and growth six professions in each cluster were selected by the European Commission to be scrutinized in detail. Civil Engineers and Architects are among these selected professions and will be discussed in a cluster meeting on 30 September 2014. The ECEC Task Force Professional Regulation will work on model justification arguments.

At the end of the screening process the European Commission will suggest measures based on its outcome, this can go as far as infringement proceedings.

As the outcome of the transparency exercise will have a high impact on professional regulation on national level the ECEC Executive Board would like to stress again the importance for all engineering organisations  on national level to be included in this process by their national competent authorities.


Publication of new Public Procurement Directives

The new Public Procurement Directives were published in the official journal on 28 March 2014. They enter into force 20 days after publication. At that time the two-year implementation phase starts.  Directive 2014/23/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the award of concession contracts:  http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32014L0023&from=EN Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on public procurement and repealing Directive 2004/18/EC: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32014L0024&from=EN Directive 2014/25/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors and repealing Directive 2004/17/EC: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32014L0025&from=EN