ACE Info 1.07

 

ACE Info
The electronic note from the Architects' Council of Europe

Issue 1-07

English version

Introduction

Welcome to the first issue of ACE Info in 2007. The New Year brings with it a number of changes and a sense of renewal of priorities that are both reflected in this issue. The ACE welcomes feedback and comments on the content of this publication, so please feel free to write to us at [email protected]

This issue is also available in French.

Core Issues

Services Directive Published in the Official Journal on the 27th December 2006

The final, official version of the directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on Services in the Internal Market was published in the Official Journal of the EU on the 27th December 2006, meaning that it must be transposed into national law before the 27th December 2009. The directive reference is 2006/123/EC and it can be downloaded in all languages of the EU from the following address:
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/JOMonth.do?year=2006&month=12
You will need to go to the date of 27.12.06 and choose issue L376 to access the text.

The ACE intends to carry out a detailed examination of the final text and to draw up guidelines on the matters that are of particular concern to the architectural profession so that its Member Organisations can lobby their governments during the transposition phase to ensure, as far as possible, that the views of the profession are adequately taken into account in all Member States of the EU.

EU Energy Package Energy for a Changing World

The European Commission launched, on the 11th January last, the EU Energy and Climate Change Package. This launch marks a turning point in the political importance of energy issues in the policies of the EU. There is a sense that energy issues and climate change must now be considered as an emergency for mankind and that stringent measures must be adopted in order to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. The package has received a broad welcome, although environmentalists and business interests have both expressed reservations for very different reasons. Environmentalists criticised the package for its lack of ambition and for not going far enough while business interests criticised it for its potential impact on competitiveness if the EU moves ahead with mitigation measures at a faster pace than its external trading partners.
The impact of the built environment is not overlooked in the package and it is likely that stricter requirements for energy efficiency in buildings will be imposed during the coming years, opening up opportunities for the architectural profession to make its influence felt more keenly in its attempts to enhance quality in the built environment. In light of this development, the ACE will be updating its policy on the environment and sustainable architecture to ensure that the profession is capable of contributing to a better future for all.
The full package of measures can be accessed through the portal page of the Commission on the subject at:
http://ec.europe.eu/energy/energy_policy/index_en.htm

7th Framework for Research and Development (FP7) Finally Complete and First Calls Published

The FP7 was formally adopted by the Council of the European Union on the 18th December 2006, which opened the way for the Commission to publish the first call for proposals. This took place, as anticipated, on the 22nd December 2006. The FP7 will run for a period of seven years over the period 2007-2013 and it has been allocated a total budget of 50.5 billion. There were 42 calls announced by the European Commission on the 22nd December with calls under each of the main headings of the FP7 Cooperation, Environment, Ideas and People.
An initiatial analysis of the calls indicates that there are a high number of these calls that could be of interest to the architectural profession and to individual architects and their offices. The ACE WG Research is to be asked to further analyse the calls in order to prepare an information paper for the Member Organisations of the ACE that it is hoped will encourage many more architects to bring their skills to bear on the research projects funded by the EU. Full information on the calls that have been issued can be found at:
http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/dc/
For an overview of the type of construction related projects that were funded by the EU in the FP6 you can consult the unofficial list compiled by the European Council for Construction Research Development and Innovation (ECCREDI) at:
http://www.eccredi.org/FP6_Projects.pdf

ACE Matters

New Year New Responsibilities

With the New Year, there are a number of changes and appointments within the ACE and within its Member Organisations to report on:

First of all, the mandate for five members of the Executive Board of the ACE came to an end on the 31st December and they have been replaced, accordingly to the rotation principle established in the Statutes of the ACE, by the following persons:
Wolfgang Haack, Germany
Tina Valpola, Finland
Vladimir Krajcar, Slovenia
Georg Pendl, Austria
Pedro Guilherme, Portugal
At its first meeting in 2007, held on the 19th and 20th January, the roles set out in the Statutes of the ACE for the members of the Executive Board (elected in November 2005) were confirmed as follows:
Jean-Francois Susini, President
Luciano Lazzari, Vice-President
Katarina Nilsson, Treasurer
Wolfgang Haack, Coordinator for TA1 Access to the Profession
Pierre-Henri Schmutz, Coordinator of TA2 Practice of the Profession and Trade in Architectural Services
Olgierd Dziekonski, Coordinator of TA3 The Role of Architecture in Society
Additionally, Tiina Valpola was appointed as the representative of the ACE (to join Alain Sagne, Secretary General) in the Association to support the European Forum for Architectural Policies.

In Belgium, Jan Ketelaer has been elected President of the Royal Federation of Belgian Architects (FAB) and he took up the role on the 1st January. Jan is well known to the ACE and to its Member Organisations as a dedicated and long serving member of its Executive Board.

In Malta, David Felice has taken up the position of President of the Maltese Chamber of Architects (KTP), also starting in that role on the 1st January. David if a past member of the Executive Board of the ACE having served for 2006, the transition year between the old and new Statutes of the ACE.

ACE Events and Meetings in January, February and March 2007:

Work Group Services in the Internal Market 26th January Brussels
Procurement of Architectural Services/Architectural Competitions, Coordination Meeting 26th January Brussels
First meeting of the Work Group on Professional Experience 29th January Brussels
ACE - UIA Meeting, Paris 2nd February
Joint Working Party (with EAAE) 23rd February Brussels
Coordination meeting on Procurement of Architectural Services - 2nd March - Brussels
Second Executive Board Meeting in 2007 2nd and 3rd March Brussels
Finance Committee Meeting 16th March Brussels

Other Matters

Urban and Territorial Development to be at the Centre of German Presidency Work

On the 8th January, the German Presidency announced that cities, regions and rural zones will be the lightning conductor of its work over the next six months as it considers integrated urban development and better coordination in territorial development policy will contribute to both sustainable management of demographic changes and a policy focusing on growth. This means that a highlight of the Presidency will be the informal ministerial meeting in Leipzig from the 23rd to the 25th May at which it is expected that a Charter on integrated and sustainable urban development will be adopted.
The ACE has, notably through its involvement with the European Forum for Architectural Policies, been closely involved in the preparatory work on the Leipzig Charter and it sees the approach of the German Presidency as a significant step as it will, for the first time, draw a direct link between architectural policies and urban/territorial policies. Further information can be found, in due course, at:
http://www.eu2007.de/en/Meetings_Calendar/Dates/May/0523-AN.html

Changes at the European Commission

Changes in some of the Directorates General of the European Commission will have an impact on the work of the ACE. In particular, the former Construction Unit in the DG Enterprise and Industry has been merged with another former Unit. The new Unit is to be known as Construction and Pressure Equipment with Mr. Reinhard Klein as Head of Unit.
In the DG Internal Market and Services, Margot Froehlinger, who was previously responsible for the Services Directive, has been appointed as Director of Directorate D, Knowledge Based Economy.

New President for the European Parliament

On the 17th January, the European Parliament elected the German Conservative, Hans-Gert Pottering as its new President for the second half of the current term. He succeeds the Spanish Socialist, Josep Borrell Fontelles who has been President since the start of the current term of Parliament (2004-2009). President Pottering has been a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) since 1979 and the President of the EPP-ED group since 1999. The result was no surprise as there was an inter-party agreement reached at the start of the term of the Parliament that the Socialists and Conservatives would share the Presidency.
On the same day 14 Vice-Presidents were elected and they include the French MEP, Gerard Onesta, who is an architect by training. To read more about the new President go to:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/president/defaulten_mac.htm

Cohesion Policy 12 National Strategic Reference Frameworks Submitted

Following the lead of Malta that submitted its National Strategic Reference Plan under the priorities of the Cohesion Policy 2007-2013, all other EU Member States have submitted their Plans to the Commission for agreement. Malta received the agreement of the Commission on its Plan on the 21st December last.
On the basis of these plans, the Member States in dialogue with the Commission are currently drawing up operational programmes on which the funding of national projects will be decided during the period of validity of the Cohesion Policy. There will be an opportunity for national representative bodies to interact with, and influence, the way in which national programme are implemented. The ACE intends to encourage its Member Organisations in the EU-12 countries to organise inter-regional workshops on the ways in which integrated development plans that include housing should be drawn up by their governments so as to facilitate the creation of a meaningful dialogue between the various authorities responsible and representatives of the profession and other stakeholders. In this way it is hoped that the quality of the operational plans will be high and therefore will contribute to optimising the use of the EU Structural Funds. More information on Cohesion Policy at:
http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/atlas2007/fiche_index_en.htm

ECJ Italian Lawyers Minimum Fees Can be Justified by General Interest

On the 5th December last, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the Italian system of setting minimum and maximum fees for lawyers is a restriction to free service provision. However, with certain conditions, it considers that this restriction can be justified in the interest of the protection of consumers and the proper administration of justice. This was the decision in two joined cases (C-94/04 and C-202/04) in which clients refused to pay the fees demanded by their lawyers believing them to be disproportionately high. On free competition rules, the Court concluded that the Italian State cannot be criticised for requiring or encouraging the adoption of agreements contrary to the rules of free competition, since it is the State and not the professional body that sets the fees.
On the other hand, with regard to the free provision of services the prohibition of derogation from the minimum fees makes access to the Italian legal services market more difficult for lawyers established outside Italy. However, the ECJ noted that the objectives of protection of consumers and the proper administration of justice may be regarded as overriding requirements relating to the public interest and hence capable of justifying a restriction on freedom to provide services. This is on condition that, firstly, the national measure is suitable for securing the attainment of the objective pursued and, secondly, that it does not go beyond what is necessary in order to attain this objective.
To read the summaries of the cases go to:
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=en
and insert the case number in the search box.

FUTURE Calls for Applications on Culture and the City

The Future Urban Research in Europe (FUTURE) Programme has called for applications by young researchers to participate under the theme for 2007 Culture and the City. The objective of FUTURE is to integrate all relevant academic disciplines in the field of urban research. The project should eventually result in a network of training and exchange to prepare young scientists for research on the European City. The deadline for applications is the 1st April 2007 and full information can be found at:
http://www.urban-future.net/

MACE Metadata for Architectural Contents in Europe

MACE is a project financed by the EU in the context of the eContentplus programme. The project is aimed at building a software system that will allow access to and searching of as many repositories of electronic contents concerning architecture throughout Europe as possible. This will be achieved by creating virtual linkages between all identified existing databases. The big advantage of this approach is that the owners of repositories keep control over their data and only have to allow access to their repository by disclosing its existing metadata and by collaborating in order to enrich the metadata so that searches from anywhere within Europe become possible.
The project is being run by a consortium that includes the KU Leuven University in Belgium. It is to be the base for MACE as it already has an important e-content in DYNAMO and it hosts the Secretariat of the EAAE, a network of schools of architecture that will act as a good base for the dissemination of the output of MACE. If you are a person responsible for an e-repository of material relating to architecture and you would like to be involved in this project or would like to get more details, please write to:
[email protected]

Hotel and Restaurant Le Corbusier Marseilles

Did you know that it is possible to stay in one of the iconic buildings of Le Corbusier? A hotel and restaurant has opened in La Cite Radieuse in Marseilles and is offering 19 rooms. Each room is a faithful renovation of the original building that gives an accurate idea of the original atmosphere of the building. To read more and to see photos of the renovated rooms, go to:
www.hotellecorbusier.com

50th Anniversary of the Signing of the Treaty of Rome

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, the treaty that is the foundation stone of the European Union. The year will be punctuated by a series of events, taking place all over the EU, to mark the anniversary. For example, the Committee of the regions will meet in Rome on the 22nd and 23rd March to celebrate the event and to raise awareness of the reality and diversity of the regional, or territorial, dimension in EU affairs and to contribute to the re-launch of the European Constitution. It is also expected that the Committee will adopt a Declaration of the Cities and Regions for Europe.
For further information on the anniversary celebrations go to:
http://europa.eu/50/index_en.htm

Publications

There are no items for this section in this issue.

Events

European Energy Efficiency Conference

This Conference will be held in Wels, Austria on the 1st March as part of the World Sustainable Energy Days 2007. With the increasing political importance that is being given to energy, this event will focus on the developments in EU legislation affecting the sector. For more information go to:
www.wsed.at

European Wind Energy Conference and Exhibition

This Conference will be held in Milan, Italy from the 7th to the 10th May and will address major issues of importance for European and Global wind markets and will, among much else, look at the prospects for the wider uptake of these technologies in society. For more information go to:
www.ewec2007.info/

Sustainable Building Safari

A unique event and idea! Take a 5-day, 4-night road trip across part of the European Continent taking in visits to some of the best examples of completed sustainable buildings and projects arriving in time at the destination to take part in one of the lead-up conferences in the International Sustainable Building Conference series. For full information go to:
www.sustainablebuilding.info

Listing of events relating to Urban Issues

The European Urban Knowledge Network (EUKN) maintains a very good listing of events that relate to urban issues on its website, many of which are interest to architects. It can be accessed at:
http://www.eukn.org/eukn/meetings/index.html

UIA Turin 2008 Congress Website Opens

The next triennial UIA (International Union of Architects) Congress is to be held in Turin from the 29th June to the 3rd July 2008 at the Lingotto, once the main factory for Fiat and converted in recent times to a convention centre by the well-renowned architect Renzo Piano. The website for the Congress has now been opened at:
http://www.uia2008torino.org/

Calls for Papers

The ACE frequently receives notifications of Calls for Papers for conferences and seminars worldwide. You may have written a thesis or doctorate paper that you would like to present or you may have an idea that you wish develop and to share with a wider audience here is your chance:

Wonderland Papers for its Magazine

Wonderland is a network of (young) architectural practices that are less than five years in business and it is publishing a series of booklets on aspects of architectural practice that is distributed with A10, the European architectural magazine. Wonderland are currently preparing the third edition of its magazine on the theme of Going Public. They are seeking contributions on the topic, so if you have experience of how to get projects published, get public attention for your work and maintain that attention over time that you are ready to share, then please sent an abstract to:
[email protected]

Competitions

Online Database of Architectural Competitions

Summary of current competitions:
www.arplus.com/competition/competiton.htm

Useful links

European Commission homepage
http://ec.europa.eu/index_en.htm

Search page for Commission documents
http://europa.eu/documents/comm/index_en.htm

The Barroso Commission:
http://ec.europa.eu/commission_barroso/index_en.htm

Website of the German Presidency
http://www.eu2007.de/info/en/

European Forum for Architectural Policies
http://www.architecture-forum.net

Sustainable building website
www.sustainablebuilding.info

Collegi dArquitectes de Catalunya (COAC) international relations database:
http://www.coac.net/international/

Consiglio Nazionale degli Architetti, Pianificatori, Paesaggisti e Conservatori (CNAPPC) database - ArchiEuro:
http://www.archieuro.archiworld.it

Website of the European Construction Technology Platform:
http://www.ectp.org

EU Impact Assessment in Practice
Consult a list of impact assessments that the EU has carried out on various legislative packages at:
http://ec.europa.eu/comm/secretariat_general/impact/index_en.htm

Register of Expert Groups of the European Commission:
http://ec.europa.eu/comm/secretariat_general/regexp/

ArchiEuropa website comparative information on practice of architecture:
http://www.arvha.net/selectionlang.php?s=AXMIG1FZFB

Archi-Student website a wealth of information on schools and students of architecture in Europe:
www.archi-students.org

Link to the Newsletter of the International Union of Architects (UIA):
http://www.uia-architectes.org/texte/england/Menu-2/4-lettre.html

Website of the UIA Practice Commission contains useful information on the work of the global architectural association, UIA, on practice related issues:
www.aia.org/about_uia

ACE Website:
http://www.ace-cae.org

Useful tip:
In the website addresses given in ACE Info for the documents of the EU, you will frequently see the following near the end of the address: _en. These two letters define the language of the document (English in the case of en) and you can usually change these two letters in order to bring you to a different language version as follows:
French _fr German _de Danish _da Swedish _sv
Italian _it Spanish _es Greek _el Dutch _nl
Portuguese _pt Finnish _fi Czech _cs Maltese _mt
Estonian _et Latvian _lv Lithuanian _lt Polish _pl
Hungarian _hu Slovene _sl Slovak _sk Bulgarian _bg
Romanian _ro

Editors note

The editorial board for the compilation of ACE Info is:

The ACE President: Jean-Francois Susini
The ACE Vice-President Luciano Lazzari
The Secretary General of the ACE: Alain Sagne
Senior Adviser to the ACE: Adrian Joyce

ACE Info is issued on a regular basis, with about ten editions per year. You are free to circulate the document as widely as you wish, to translate its contents for use in your publications and to refer to the information it contains once you credit the ACE as the origin.

If you wish to receive ACE Info regularly and you are not on the mailing list, you can register online at: http://www.ace-cae.org/public/ACEINFO/subscribeEN.asp

If you have information that you wish to have included in the next edition then e-mail it (in English or French please) to [email protected]. The deadline for submissions is the first Friday of each month.

Acknowledgements

The editorial board wishes to acknowledge the sources of information for this edition of ACE Info which include ECCREDI, the European Urban Knowledge Network, the Euractiv website (www.euractiv.com) and Bulletin Quotidien Europe.

[email protected] - Comments and contributions welcome