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ECEC Newsletter December 2014

2nd European Engineers' Day

On 20th November 2014 the major European Engineers Organisations gathered in Brussels for the “European Engineers’ Day”.  The event was organised in cooperation of ECEC, FEANI, and ECCE with the support of ENAEE, EFCA, CLGE and CLAIU. The major subject of the event – which was attended by 150 participants from industry, academia and professional organisations – focused on “Mobile Engineers build an Innovative Europe”: the challenges of the engineering profession to meet the expectations of society and how EU policies can help the engineering profession to meet these expectations. The speakers from the profession, universities, European Institutions and politics highlighted different aspect of this topic, from fair public procurement to the necessity of good professional regulations. In a final resolution the participants invite the EU institutions to acknowledge that:
  • Engineering solutions are of an international nature. Therefore, internationalization and cross-border recognition of engineering qualifications are important and vital to forge a better future for society.
  • Professional Engineers must possess the relevant underpinning knowledge and maintain their technical and managerial competence so that they can deliver value to their clients in their chosen field of endeavour. The importance of quality assessment of their continuing education needs to be recognized.
  • Professional regulation, in its varying forms [whether voluntary or statutory], is the mechanism by which the public can be independently assured of an individual Engineer’s professional competence and personal commitment to be bound by professional codes of practice.
  • A quality based contract award for engineering services is essential (most economically advantageous tender).
  • The success of the European economy will depend upon our ability to unlock the potential of the SME-sector and our endeavours to support engineering entrepreneurship in our countries.
Film 2nd European Engineers' Day see here: http://izs.mitv.si/asset/epw7YhPsReEqnPRZj 
Presentations see here: http://www.ecec.net/activities/engineers-day/

11th ECEC General Assembly in Brussels

ICE accepted as new associate ECEC member

It focused on the standards for the European Professional / Chartered Engineer. GAM authorized ExBo to decide on standards for a regulated profession „EU Professional Engineer“ and inform ECEC members about it before sending a final proposal to European Commision. The ECEC members stressed the importance of Continuing Professional Development for European Professional/ Chartered Engineers and discussed the aspects of its national implementation. Further topics of discussions were the current regulatory situation in regard to fee scales for engineering services in the member countries and the impact of the new European Parliament and the new Commission under Jean-Claude Juncker on the liberal professions. A highlight of the General Assembly was the admission of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) as new associate member of ECEC. The ICE, which was founded already in 1818, represents 82.000 members worldwide, with about 18.000 outside the UK. Therefore it is expected that this cooperation will further increase the force of the ECEC. The next General Assembly is scheduled to take place on 26 September 2015 in Italy.

Evening Reception with the award of the ECEC Medal of Honour 2014

On the kind invitation of the German “Bundesingenieurkammer” and the Bavarian “Ingenieurkammer-Bau” an evening reception at the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the EU followed the ECEC General Assembly. The event on the evening before the 2nd European Engineers Day provided an excellent opportunity for an exchange between profession and politics. A sign for the importance of such an exchange was also the award of the ECEC Medal of Honour 2014 to the President of the Hungarian Chamber of Engineers and Former MEP Etelka Barsi-Pataky. Mrs Barsi-Pataki is not only a Civil Engineer with a MA Certificate in Urban Planning Engineering but also an active project engineer for 25 years and an effective and successful national and European politician. Not only the ECEC but also other organisations all over Europe benefitted from her comprehensive experience. Her supportive and active attitude towards the Liberal Profession is and has always been highly valued.

Professional Qualifications Directive - Mutual evaluation of regulated professions

The currently on-going Transparency Initiative which is based on Article 59 of the new Professional Qualifications Directive forces the EU Member States to justify and reconsider their national professional regulations. On 30 September 2014 the Mutual evaluation for the professions of Civil Engineer and Architect took place in Brussels. Member States were divided in different groups (“Clusters”) and – based on written reports transmitted before - had to report to the European Commission about their national professional regulatory systems in regard to Civil Engineers and Architects and justify them or inform European Commissions on reforms which are planned or on-going. As the national coordinators were allowed to bring national experts to that hearing, many representatives of ECEC member organisations were present at this meeting and could react to the questions of the European Commissions and therefore hopefully influence the Commission’s final findings.  The ECEC paper "9 arguments why professional regulation for engineers is essential for Europe” (http://www.ecec.net/about-ecec/9-arguments/ ) proved to be an important argumentative help for this meeting. European Commissions has announced that a final report on Transparency Initiative will be published on 19 December 2014. In April 2015 each EU Member State will have to report back on activities which will be undertaken.

Services Directive - Commission in bilateral discussions with Member States

In its working paper on the outcome of the peer review on legal form, shareholding and tariff requirements in national legislation (October 2013 http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/services/docs/services-dir/implementation/131002_staff-working-document_en.pdf ) the European Commission expressed  the opinion that both legal form and shareholding requirements in national professional regulations have a negative impact on establishment.  Fixed tariffs, in general, and compulsory minimum tariffs, in particular, are seen as serious restrictions to the establishment of service providers and a negative influence on consumers’ choice and market competition. The Commission very much questions to what extent imposing minimum tariffs ensures a high quality of services. Based on these findings in the working paper and further discussion in the expert group for the implementation of the Services Directive in 2014 the European Commission has contacted further Member States during summer 2014 in order to ask them how they intend to change national regulations that seem not in accordance with the Services Directive. Discussion processes are still ongoing and it remains to be seen if any infringement procedures will be started.

Preview ECEC Meetings 2015

ECEC Executive Board:
  • Saturday, 7 March 2015 in Vienna
  • Saturday, 13 June 2015 in Berlin
  • Friday, 25 September 2015 in Italy
ECEC WG tariffs:
  • Friday, 6 March 2015 in Vienna
ECEC General Assembly:
  • Saturday, 26 September 2015 in Italy