EFCA was delighted to welcome DG GROW Director-General Kerstin Jorna, who delivered a keynote speech on the European Recovery and Resilience Facility, and particularly on the role that the engineering consultancy sector shall play in it.
‘Money is not everything. We are currently looking at how Member States plan their projects for the recovery: some 80% of the funds they have is dedicated to construction. For sure there is money, but what we need is the right projects to invest the money in. This is where we need the engineers, who have always been the ones with solutions,’ said Mrs. Jorna.
Mrs. Jorna highlighted the current challenge of the twin transition to a more sustainable and digital economy. Construction is put among the priority ecosystems when it comes to making the green and digital transitions a reality. She stressed the need for linking the companies’ needs in terms of rapidly changing required skills and life-long learning opportunities to deliver solutions for each ecosystem.
‘Recovery is not about bouncing back, but rather about bouncing forward to build a better economy, a more sustainable economy, and a new economy which is based on data,’ said Mrs. Jorna.
The panel discussion featured Georg Pendl (President of the Architects’ Council of Europe – ACE), Philippe Dessoy (Vice President of the European Construction Industry Federation – FIEC, and of the European International Contractors – EIC), Fernando Nicolás Puiggarí, (International Director of the Spanish Railway Infrastructure Management Company - ADIF), and EFCA President Benoît Clocheret.
Panellists discussed the main challenges that their respective sectors are facing, highlighting the lack of skills, lowest-price based contract award in public procurement, the scarcity and increasing prices of raw materials, as well as unfair competition from third country state-owned companies. They underlined importance of continuing and strengthening cooperation with all EU policymakers to achieve a common goal: make Europe greener, more digital and more resilient.