2017 / 8 – 9 November 2017




F       E       D       E       R       A       T       I        O      N       N       E       W      S


FIDIC demonstrates industry’s commitment to supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement at the COP23 in Bonn

EU external aid and cooperation: position papers advocate for the business interests of the European consulting industry

NLingenieurs: already 100 years designers of the future

EFCA Board celebrates AHCEA’s 25th anniversary in Budapest Welcome to new Young Professional coordinator

Looking for information on the Brexit debate?

Engineering - Engineering the future or Future of Engineering? EFCA agenda


FIDIC demonstrates industry’s commitment to supporting the implementation of  the Paris Agreement at the COP23 in Bonn


The consulting engineering industry commits to improve its capacity to contribute to the roadmap to sustainable solutions for climate change.


Right in time before COP21 in Paris, FIDIC issued a statement, endorsed by the EFCA Board, to position our industry in the climate change debate. At the 2016 COP summit in Marrakesh, Moncef Ziani, FIDIC Vice President, introduced the commitments of the engineering sector in achieving the objectives of the Paris COP21 agreement. On 11 November 2017, he will present The Consulting Engineering Industry’s Statement of Commitments in Bonn.



The FIDIC programme of voluntary commitments will be implemented through the federation’s committees and task forces and through the national associations and their member firms. Also, FIDIC will promote effective partnerships to work together and foster dialogue with all stakeholder in the built environment.




MORE: press release

EU external aid and cooperation: position papers advocate for the business interests of the European consulting industry


EFCA and FEACO (European Federation of Management Consultancies Associations) explain to European policy makers and officials that blending and delegated management are pushing European firms out the market.


Blending is a financing instrument, combining EU grants with loans or equity from public and private financiers. It is important for our industry since it covers all regions of EU cooperation in sectors such and energy, transport and water infrastructure, social sectors and the environment. However, it proves difficult for European engineering consultancies to find information on the projects receiving EU grants, identify the entity in charge of managing the tenders/proposals, and acquire knowledge of the variety in eligibility criteria and evaluation/selection modalities.

In their position paper, EFCA and FEACO are proposing two specific measures to improve transparency in blending.


In the same paper, EFCA and FEACO are supporting the creation of a centralised technical assistance service for the European External Investment Plan (EEIP). This service would offer all required information to enable European firms to provide technical assistance for developing sustainable projects.


In the second position paper, both federations express the industry’s concerns about the trend of delegated cooperation, whereby the European Commission is entrusting budget implementation tasks to partner countries, international organisations and development agencies of the member states. The paper is setting out a series of recommendations to improve transparency in the use of EU funds.




NLingenieurs: already 100 years designers of the future


Various events, bringing together the industry and stakeholders throughout this festive year, are marking the 100th anniversary of NLingenieurs.


EFCA President Kevin Rudden enjoyed the entertaining TED-style talk at the gala dinner in Delft on 13 September.


Together with more than 70 professionals, Jan Van der Putten attended the congress The ingenious city in Amsterdam on 26 October. Speakers emphasised the need for creative and inspiring relationships between all parties in the value chain and an integral approach to the complex reality. Also, it was called for allowing full play to new ideas and exploring innovative concepts.


NLingenieurs developed an app to make the important added value that engineers provide to society visible.

EFCA Board celebrates AHCEA’s 25th anniversary in Budapest



AHCEAs festive conference under the theme Engineering Challenges of Today and Tomorrow in Hungary’ provided a forum for debate on innovative projects and particularly the revolutionary impact of BIM on the industry and business.


The on challenging trends that concluded the event touched on a broad range of topics such as the political and economic drivers on the markets, the regulatory framework, sustainability, investment in innovation, and risks confronting engineering consultants in new relationships and new roles.


Engineering consultancy firms need to attract the best qualified people and experienced professionals. They should persuade young people to join and to lead. Finally, young professionals should be given a strong voice in the consulting engineering community.




New Young Professional (YP) coordinator


Since early October, Hannah Neve (21), tax law student, is bringing in her enthusiasm in the EFCA YP platform.



Hannah will provide support to the EFCA YP Steering Committee, oversee various initiatives and help realizing planned Europe-wide YP activities.

She is keen to take up the challenges in her new role, and looks forward to liaising with YPs in all EFCA member countries.




Looking for information on the Brexit debate?


The very tight two-year negotiation process on the UK exit from the EU is extremely complex.

Access to the EU institutions sources is available through the EFCA website.

For more information, search the European Sources Online (ESO) database using the keyword ‘Brexit’.

ESO provides access to thousands of expertly selected websites, documents and publications from the EU and other international organisations, national governments, and think tanks.

ENGINEERING ⁿ - Engineering the future or Future of Engineering?


The publication by Maurizio Boi, member of the EFCA Board of Directors, together with Patrizia Boi, is providing an insightful analysis of the future engineering industry and professional practices.


The real challenges of tomorrow are represented by innovative technologies, state-of-the-art tools, and above all, new and evolving organisational models set to make a dramatic impact, such as Wikinomics, BIM, 3D Printing, Blockchain Technology, bitcoin, Smart Contracts and Exponential Organisations.


In the authors’ view, the undeniable cultural revolution on the horizon is professional collectivism. "Collaborative Engineering" is a concept that addresses the shift from project work undertaken by individual professionals to peer cooperation between professionals qualified in the highest specialisations.



A preview of the book that has already been read in over 100 countries in a few weeks, is available here (up for sale for 5 with coupon code EFCA_MEMBER_2017 before 31 December 2017).



E     F     C     A           A     G     E     N     D     A

Directors & Secretaries General meeting



BIM Task Force



Communications Task Group



Board of Directors meeting



Internal Market Committee



European External Aid Committee



Board of Directors meeting

Belgrade (tbc)


Board of Directors meeting



Barometer Task Group



Internal Market Committee



Board of Directors meeting









Board of Directors meeting


Sept. 2018 (tbc)

Board of Directors meeting




E        U        R        O        P        E        A        N                 B        R        I        E        F        I        N        G



Efficient and professional procurement to increase the impact of public investment EIPP and SOURCE join forces to foster investment in infrastructure projects

Commission seeks greater impact of its 30 billion research funding over the next three years Cohesion report fuels the discussion on EU funds after 2020

Car industry at a turning point

Far-reaching reform of the EU VAT system proposed New rules to resolve tax disputes

Independent report for EBRD analyses impact of Balkan Silk Road’




Efficient and professional procurement to increase the impact of public investment



The European Commission launched a series of initiatives to unlock the full potential of public procurement in ensuring better value for taxpayers money.



This effort to unlock the full potential of public procurement has four main strands:



  Definition of priority areas for improvement: member states are encouraged to develop a strategic approach to procurement policies, focusing on six priorities (see: EC Communication: Making public procurement work in and for Europe)

  Voluntary ex-ante assessment of large infrastructure projects (EC Communication Ex-ante assessment of large procurement project)

  Recommendation on professionalisation of public buyers (EC Guidance on professionalisation of public buyers)

  Consultation on stimulating innovation through public procurement

The consultation process, launched on 3 October 2017, will close on 2 January 2018.

The purpose of this consultation is to receive stakeholder feedback on the draft Guidance on Public Procurement of Innovation.

The consultation website outlines the major features of the draft Guidance, as well as the consultation process.

EIPP and SOURCE join forces to foster investment in infrastructure projects


The European Investment Project Portal (EIPP) is a multilingual online platform showcasing EU-based investment projects to investors. It is run by the European Commission.

SOURCE is the global online platform for infrastructure projects preparation, developed and funded by Multilateral Development Banks.



As part of the EIPP-SOURCE cooperation, the EIPP will encourage the use of SOURCE among its project promoters; SOURCE will endorse the EIPP to promote its projects to the international community of investors.


Collaboration between the EIPP and SOURCE will also comprise technical cooperation between the two platforms, as well as joint outreach campaigns and workshops.





Commission seeks greater impact of its €30 billion research funding over the next three years


Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation funding programme, will be more geared towards boosting breakthrough, market-creating innovation (€2.7 billion).



Also, it will focus on fewer topics with bigger budgets, directly supporting the Commission's political priorities: a low-carbon, climate resilient future (€3.3 billion), circular economy (€1 billion), digitising and transforming European industry and services (€1.7 billion), Security Union (€1 billion), migration (€200 million), clean energy (€2.2 billion)


Support will be allocated also to 'curiosity-driven science' (often referred to as 'blue sky science' or 'frontier research'), international cooperation in research and innovation and increasing participation in the programme.


A novelty is the introduction of the lump-sum pilot, a new, simpler approach to providing financial support to participants. It will shift the focus of ex-ante controls from financial checks to the scientific-technical content of the projects.


More information


Cohesion report fuels the discussion on EU funds after 2020


The report shows that public investment in the EU is still below pre-crisis levels.


It suggests an EU-wide policy serving three main purposes: harnessing globalisation, leaving no one behind and supporting structural reforms.


A public consultation on the future Cohesion Policy will be launched in early 2018.

In May 2018, the Commission's proposal for the multi-annual financial framework (MFF) will be presented, followed by the proposals for Cohesion Policy after 2020.



Car industry at a turning point


The  High-Level  Group  ‘GEAR  2030’  issued  its  report  for  a globally competitive and sustainably growing automotive sector.


The European Commission considers the report a good basis for a (re)start.

A number of initiatives are already in the pipeline, such as the upcoming second Mobility Package including tighter CO2 standards, and the initiative for battery development and production in Europe.



Far-reaching reform of the EU VAT system proposed


The proposal is expected to reduce cross-border VAT fraud by around 80%. At the same time, it will make life easier for EU companies trading across borders, slashing red tape and simplifying VAT-related procedures.


Businesses trading cross-border currently suffer from 11% higher compliance costs compared to those trading only domestically. Simplifying and modernising VAT should reduce these costs by an estimated 1 billion.


A second directive overhauling the whole VAT Directive will be proposed in which the cornerstones will be implemented and the current transitional articles will be replaced or deleted.

Further changes regarding the administrative cooperation rules and substantial IT developments will be needed to ensure the proper operation of the system.

The adoption of this second proposal is currently scheduled for 2018 and the definitive regime should start to apply in 2022.


New rules to resolve tax disputes


New rules will ensure that businesses and citizens have access to a better system to resolve disputes related to the interpretation of treaties and to do so more swiftly and effectively.

They will also cover issues related to double taxation, which is a major obstacle for businesses, creating uncertainty, unnecessary costs and cash-flow problems.


The new mechanism will apply for any disputes related to tax issues on income as of January next year.

More information



Independent report for EBRD analyses impact of ‘Balkan Silk Road’


China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ seeks to expand and secure maritime routes and land infrastructure networks from China connecting Asia, Africa and Europe. The Balkan Silk Road is a Belt and Road Initiative route, running from Beijing to Athens and connecting with Belgrade, Sarajevo, Skopje, Budapest, Tirana and other capitals.


The Jens Bastian report China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Constructing the Balkan Silk Road’ maps the benefits, concerns and objections from a European and Chines perspective as well as the possible role of the EBRD and other international organisations.



EDITORIAL OFFICE:      Kevin Rudden, Jan Van der Putten

EDITOR:                       Anne Croisiau

ADDRESS:                   EFCA Secretariat, Ave. des Arts, 3/4/5, B – 1210, Brussels, Phone: +32-2-209.07.70

Fax:      +32-2-209.07.71

E-mail: efca@efca.be http://www.efcanet.org/