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ACE Info 3.05


English language version
The monthly electronic note from the Architects’ Council of Europe
Tuesday March 2004



Welcome to the third issue in 2005 of ACE Info, the monthly update from the Architects' Council of Europe that will give you, at a glance, information on current issues, highlighting emerging areas of activity and informing you of matters of interest in the field of architectural policy.

This issue covers the months of March and April and is also available in French.

ACE Matters

Joint Working Party with the EAAE meets for the First Time

Following the decision of the General Assembly in 2004 that the ACE should seek to develop closer ties with the EAAE (European Association of Architectural Education) the two organisations agreed to establish a Joint Working Party (JWP) to address issues of common interest and concern.  The first meeting of the JWP took place in Brussels on the 5th March 2005 and has been judged, by those present, to be a useful first step on the road to close co-operation between the two organisations.  The meeting agreed that the matter that requires the most urgent attention is the probable adoption of the Qualifications Directive in the coming months and the impact that it will have on the architectural profession and the education of architects.  In particular there is concern about the future consultation mechanism that is envisaged by the Directive (see further below).  For this reason the JWP will dedicate its second meeting (scheduled for the 20th May 2005) to this single issue and it will invite the relevant responsible Commission Officials to attend too. 

The RIAI Publishes an Independent Fees Survey

The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland has published the results of an independent survey of RIAI Practices Fees and Charges for the period 2001-2004.  It was conducted by Millward Brown, the largest research agency in Ireland.  The survey was based on a postal survey of all 455 RIAI practices of whom 167 responded.  It can be purchased from the RIAI through its website at:

The ACE Adopts a new Graphic Charter

The ACE has adopted a new Graphic Charter for its documents that has entailed a modernisation of its logo and approach to document management.  This edition of ACE Info is an example of the new approach which, it is hoped, will give to all documents produced by the ACE and its working structure a distinctive and easily recognisable graphic presence.

The ACE Strengthens its Co-operation with EUROCITIES

The EU Institutions increasingly see cities as the places where their policies and legislation has the most effect.  This is because about 80% of the population of the EU live in urbanised areas and it is in cities that most of the problems facing society emerge.  This perception has been reflected by the increased political priority that cities have been granted over recent years.  EUROCITIES is a network of large European cities and it has recently launched its Strategic Plan for the future.  The member cities of EUROCITIES, at its conference and AGM in Vienna in November 2004, jointly agreed to engage in closer co-operation with the EU Institutions and national governments.  The “Vienna Declaration” sets out a series of specific proposals for strengthening this co-operation in order to improve policy-making and implementation at all levels.

At the same time, EUROCITIES has reinforced its co-operation with the ACE, particularly in relation to the establishment of the Intergroup in the European Parliament on Urban and Housing.  Both organisations are active members of the external core group of stakeholders to the Intergroup and they now meet regularly to co-ordinate potential inputs to the Intergroup.  The ACE hopes that, through this co-operation, it can identify pathways by which architectural policy can become an integral part of urban and territorial policies.  A further sign of the increased co-operation between the two organisations will be demonstrated at the Luxembourg event of the European Forum for Architectural Policies (see further below) at which EUROCITIES will be making a presentation.

Further information can be found at:

The CNOA Wishes to Establish an Economic Observatory for the Profession

The Conseil National de l’Ordre des Architectes (France) has published its wish to see the establishment of a permanent economic Observatory for the architectural profession in France.  The objective would be to better record, and therefore understand, the actual situation of the profession in France.  It has appointed the IFOP (Institut Francaise d’Opinion Publique) to carry out a feasibility study on the idea.  It is expected that the Observatory would serve to get to know the profession better, understand how society perceives the profession and to observe how the profession adapts to the challenges it faces.  The ACE will be watching the results carefully as it has mooted the idea of a similar Observatory at EU level for the profession and is in the process of establishing the parameters for a study of the sector at EU level.

Core Issues

Qualifications Directive

As reported in the last issue of ACE Info the Second Reading of the Qualifications is now underway.  The rapporteur in the Parliament, Mr. Stefano Zappala, produced his report on the 15th March and it was debated at the meeting of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Affairs.  The deadline for the tabling of amendments was announced as being the 31st March 2005.  The Report (ref: PE 355.450v01-00) can be downloaded from the website of the Parliament at the following address:

The ACE joined with the 6 health professions currently covered by a sectoral directive (doctors, pharmacistes, dentists, veterinarians, nurses and midwives)to issue a Joint Statement and a suggested amendment to the directive on the issue of ensuring a formal and legally binding provision that will ensure that the professions are properly consulted in matters relating to the operation of the Directive.  Specifically the suggested amendment would ensure that the European Organisations of each of the 7 professions would be granted observer status on the Regulatory Committee that will be set up by the Directive.  It is expected that the Parliamentary Committee will vote on the Zappala report at its meeting on the 19th April and that the vote in Plenary will take place on the 11th May 2005.  A copy of the Joint Statement can be downloaded from the ACE Website at:

Directive on Services in the Internal Market

There has been a great deal of agitation across the EU on this proposal since the last edition of ACE Info. It was a major agenda item at the Spring Summit of EU Heads of State and Governments.  However the outcome of all this agitation is that the proposal stands and it will continue its course through the normal co-decision process in the Parliament and in Council.  The only aspect that the Commission has confirmed it will amend is that health services and (publicly-funded) services of general interest will be exempted from the directive.  It is possible that the Commission will propose a separate directive for services of general interest at the time it tables an amended proposal for this directive.  The amended proposal will only be delivered after the completion of the First Reading.

Progress in Parliament has been delayed a little and it is now thought that the First Reading in Parliament will take place on or about the 28th September 2005.

A study of the economic consequences of the Directive was carried out by a Danish consultancy for the Commission and the results were released in early March.  The study shows that the proposed directive will produce significant economic gains in all Member States with the creation of about 600,000 jobs throughout the EU and an increase in consumption of about 37 billion EUR.  The full report and its annexes can be downloaded from the website of the Commission (item number 3) at:

The European Construction Technology Platform (ECTP)

On the 1st March 2005 the first meeting of the High Level Group of the ECTP took place in Brussels in the presence of the Commissioner for Research, Mr. Janez Potocnik, who gave the Opening Address.  In that speech he underlined the importance of Technology Platforms to the future of EU-funded research in Europe, making a link to increased spending on research and the achievement of the Lisbon objectives.  He also acknowledged the importance of the construction sector and of his hopes that the ECTP would lead to significant transformations within the sector to the benefit of the EU.  The architectural profession is represented on the High Level Group by the UK architect, Ian Ritchie, who was nominated by the ACE for the post.  For more information on the event and for the text of the Commissioners speech, see:

Intergroup on Urban and Housing in the European Parliament

The first, constituent, meeting of the formal Intergroup in the European Parliament “Urban and Housing” took place in Strasbourg on the 24th February 2005.  The Bureau was elected and consists of the President, Jean-Marie Beaupuy (ALDE-France) and 5 Vice-presidents:
Jan Olbrycht (EPP-Poland)
Arlene McCarthy (PES-UK)
Alain Hutchinson (PES-Belgium)
Lambert Van Nistelrooij (EPP-The Netherlands)
Alfonso Andria (ALDE-Italy)

A working group dedicated to hosing was also established and it hopes to hold its first meeting before the summer break.  The meeting decided that four meetings of the Intergroup should be held each year with three being held in Strasbourg and one being held in another city.  It is clear that this Intergroup will offer to the ACE and to other external stakeholders, a golden opportunity for sharing information with the Parliament on matters that affect urban issues and housing and, beyond that, to other matters that affect the built environment.

The European Forum for Architectural Policies (EFAP)

The EFAP is an informal co-operation network that brings together government administrations, professional organisations and cultural institutes in which the ACE is closely involved.  A first result of this co-operation led to the adoption by the European Council, on 12 February 2001, of a Resolution on Architectural Quality in the Urban and Rural Environments.  A review of the impact of the resolution is currently under way, and the EU Ministers of Culture will be meeting with the EFAP during a plenary session of an EFAP event organised as part of the official activities during the Luxembourg Presidency of the European Union, in Luxembourg on 27th June 2005.  The review is being conducted by Michael O’Doherty, retired Chief Architect of the Office of Public Works in Ireland, on behalf of the EFAP and it is expected that this review will demonstrate the benefits that the resolution has brought together with a realisation of the need to adopt architectural policies where they do not already exist.  More information on the EFAP can be found at:

Other Matters

Commission Granted Mandate to Negotiate Mutual Recognition Agreements for Architectural Services

The 133 Committee, which consists of representatives of the Member States and representative of the European Commission, has granted a mandate to the Commission to allow it to conduct negotiations for Mutual Recognition Agreements for architectural services with third countries or groups of countries.  The Commission had originally requested a general mandate that would have allowed it to negotiate agreements in all professional service areas.  This means that architecture will be a “spearhead” profession in these negotiations.  The ACE is pleased with this development as it has already negotiated, at professional level, a Mutual Recognition Agreement with Mexico and negotiations are at an advanced stage with both the USA and Canada.  Negotiations with Chile and China have also been commenced, but they are in the early stages.  The Commission has assured the ACE that it will not be initiating any negotiations unless the professions have already concluded agreements at professional level.  This means that Mexico will be the first country that the Commission will initiate negotiations with.

Questionnaire on the European Commission’s Market Access Database

The Directorate General for Trade runs a database that contains information on access to global markets.  It has, in the context of the Lisbon Strategy and its emphasis on strengthening the competitiveness of the EU economy, launched a questionnaire on the effectiveness of the database.  The objective is to improve the quality of the service that the database provides to its users.  If you are interested in taking part, you can do so by logging on to the following address:

Brussels Lobbyists Adopt Revised Code of Ethics

Professional lobbyists – or public affairs professionals – as well as the Commission have come under mounting pressure from citizen organisations to promote ethics and transparency in the way corporate interests are represented in Brussels.  In reply to these pressures, the Society of European Affairs Professionals (SEAP) has issued a revised version of its voluntary, self-regulatory code of conduct.

Commission Database CONECCS

The Secretariat General of the European Commission runs a database named Consultation, the European Commission and Civil Society known as CONECCS.  The database gives information on non-profit civil society organisations organised at European level.  The Commission uses the database as a tool for the identification of target groups for the Commission’s consultation processes.  The ACE is a registered organisation in the database, which can be viewed at:

PRESUD: A Tool for Cities Towards Sustainable Development

The PRESUD (Peer Review for European Sustainable Development) project was launched to create implementation tools capable of measuring the quality and effectiveness of existing sustainable development policies.  The project has now been completed and the tools developed will soon be available to all.  For further information go to:

NACE Classifications Revised

The Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community (NACE) is due to be revised from 2007 onwards.  This classification is internationally recognised and contains codes by which economic activities can be recognised and compared across borders, particularly in global negotiations such as those carried out under the auspices of the WTO and in statistical analysis of activities.  For further information visit:

Infringement Procedures – Public Procurement – Recognition of Qualifications

The Commission has decided to send a warning letter to Spain and the United Kingdom for irregularities observed in public procurement.  In the case of Spain the warning relates to “the procedures for awarding an architectural competition for developing Isthem de Santa Catalina in Las Palmas and in the case of the United Kingdom to the procedures used for the construction of the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh.

The Commission has also decided to send a reasoned opinion to Portugal about its practice to make it compulsory for architects from other Member States to sit an entrance exam in order to be able to join the Portuguese Order of Architects.  The Commission believes that this obligation runs counter to Directive 85/384/EC on mutual recognition of diplomas, certificates and other qualifications.

Accession Treaty for Bulgaria and Romania Ready to be Signed on 25th April

On the 22nd February last, the Commission gave a favourable opinion to the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU on the 1st January 2007.  The opinion came at the official conclusion of accession negotiations with the two countries at the European Council of 17th December 2004 and the finalisation of the accession treaty, which is now ready to be signed in Luxembourg on the 25th April.  The favourable opinion of the Parliament must also be forthcoming and it is scheduled to consider the matter on the 13th April 2005.  The representative architectural organisations of both countries are already Observer Member of the ACE and they will become full Member on the accession of their countries to the EU.

Parliament Supports Energy Efficiency Measures for Electrical Goods

The Environment Committee of the European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favour of measures to improve the energy efficiency of everyday consumer electrical products such as hairdryers, computers and heaters.  One MEP characterised the directive as “the most underestimated proposal of the Community legislative arsenal” saying that its implementation will allow the EU to meet over 50% of its commitment under the Kyoto Protocol.  For more information (under item 10) see the Parliament website at:

UK Sustainable Communities Conference – Danuta Huebner Speech

Speaking at the “Delivering Sustainable Communities Conference” in Manchester in March, the European Commissioner responsible for regional policy, Danuta Huebner, explained how EU-funded regional policy can help run-down areas to develop their potential and contribute to growth and to the development of the knowledge economy over the next ten years.  The full speech (which is reference SPEECH/05/59) can be found at:

Better Regulation for Growth and Jobs in the European Union

The Commission has tabled a package for better regulation in the EU that aims to cut red tape and lead to more growth in the EU economy.  It states that improving the quality of regulation can significantly spur growth in the EU economy and business.  The Commission proposes a number of actions such as improved impact assessment, more simplification, pilot projects to reduce administrative burdens, alternatives to legislation and consulting citizens.  The proposals can be viewed at:

United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development Launched

The UNESCO Director General, Koichiro Matsuura launched, on the 1st March 2005, the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development at the UN Headquarters in New York.  The main goal of the decade (2005-2014) is to encourage the governments of Member States to integrate the concept of sustainable development into their education policies and into all aspects of learning to bring about behavioural changes that will usher in a more viable and just society.  More information on the UNESCO website at:

Commission Launches “Your Europe” Portal

On the 7th March last the European Commission launched its new portal site “Your Europe” which aims to provide easy-to-access information on the EU to citizens and businesses, particularly on cross-border movement.  The new site replaces three earlier websites on dialogue with citizens, dialogue with business and public services.  It is expected that it will provide valuable information and advice to its users and it is available in all official languages of the EU.  It can be seen at:

The European Parliament Dismisses the Environment and Health Action Plan 2004-2010

On the 23rd February last, the European Parliament backed a report by its rapporteur, Frederique Ries (ALDE, Belgium) that dismissed the Commission’s Environment and Health Action Plan 2004-2010, mainly for falling short on the legislative proposals initially promised in the European environment and health strategy (known as SCALE).  The plan is part of SCALE which was adopted in June 2003 under the joint responsibility of the Commissioners responsible for environment, health and research.  The highly critical report can be downloaded at:


Measuring Your Companies Environmental Impact

Published by James and James, this book provides templates and tools for a complete ISO 14001 initial review of your company.  It is retailing at a normal price of 125 STG and can be ordered by e-mail at:
[email protected]


UIA world congress - istanbul

Time is short and the UIA World Congress of architects is just four months away. You are invited to look at the programme and events that are planned for this Bazaar of Architectures at:

and to register to attend the events.

International Regeneration – What can we Learn?

This is a two-day event, incorporating a conference, dinner and study tour, that is scheduled for the 9th and 10th May in the City of Derry, Northern Ireland.  It is being organised by the British Urban Regeneration Association (BURA) on whose website full details can be found:

Culture For All

The European Institute for Design and Disability (EIDD) is organising this conference on the 12th and 13th may 2005 in Berlin.  The main themes that the conference will address are: cultural heritage - access to buildings, nature reserves and artefacts; urban environments and public transport in a cultural context and cultural tourism and marketing.  Full details can be found at:

8th World Congress of Metropolis

To be held in Berlin on the 11th to the 15th May 2005, this congress has as a theme “Tradition and Transformation – The Future of the City”.  Full details at:

Restructuring Large Housing Estates in Europe

To be held in Ljubljana on the 19th to the 21st May 2005, this conference is being organised in the context of the European RESTATE project.  Full details at:

New Urbanity for the Existing Townscape

The Centre of Urban and Regional Studies at the Helsinki University of Technology is hosting the eleventh edition of the IFHP Summer School in Finland under this theme.  It will run from the 15th to the 28th August 2005 and full details can be found at:

Seminar on EU Fact Finding

The College of Europe is offering this short (half day) seminar on how to optimise on-line research of EU-related information.  It will be run, in the ULB campus in Brussels, on a number of days, giving a choice to intending participants.  The dates are the 29th April, the 20th May or the 24th June 2005.  The cost of attendance is 265 EUR and you can register on-pine at:

European Competition Day: Competition rules and Liberal Professions

To be held on the 3rd May 2005 in Luxembourg under the Presidency of the EU this conference will promote the right to competition in the Member States of the EU.  Further information at:

SB04MED Conference

To be held on the 9th to the 11th June 2005 in Athens, this event will be a full part of the SB04 regional event series organised in preparation for the Global Sustainable Building Conference 2005 to be held in Tokyo in September 2005.  The culmination of the event will be the Sustainable Building and Construction Mediterranean Report that will deal with regional issues that arise in relation to the subject.  Full details can be found at:

Voyage Through Europe: Architectural Experiences, Visions and Realties

To be held on the 27th and 28th May 2005 in Trieste, this conference will be a mixture of culture and debate o the practical aspects of the architectural profession.  Further information can be received on request from the ACE Secretariat.

Intersolar 2005

To be held on the 23rd to the 25th June 2005 in Freiburg, Intersolar 2005 is Europe’s bigges fair for solar thermal technology, photovoltaics and solar architecture.  The European Solar Thermal Energy Conference will be held on the 21st and 22nd June so as to facilitate those who wish to attend both events.  Full details can be found at:

Rural Design Forum Conference

To be held on the 22nd and the 23rd June 2005 I York, this conference will anticipate the post-CAP situation and its impact on rural design vernacular and post agricultural landscapes.  Details will be posted on the following website:


Royal Canal – Linear Park Competition (Ireland)

This competition is being organised by the RIAI and is an open two-stage design contest competition for the architectural/landscape/design services for an urban park on the Royal Canal.  Deadline for registration is the 10th May 2005 with a deadline for entries for the first stage of the same day.  More details can be found at:

Visitor Centre for the Giants Causeway (Northern Ireland)

An International Architectural Design Competition for design of a world class visitor facility for the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland has been announced by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in London.  The objective is to ensure that the wining design will reflect the status of the Giants Causeway as a World Heritage Site.  The competition is to be administered by the UIA and the competition brief will be published in May 2005.  Further details will be published then.

Useful links

European Commission homepage

Search page for Commission documents

The Barroso Commission:

Website of the Luxembourg Presidency

(then choose your preferred language)

Sustainable building website

COAC international relations database:

CNAPPC database - ArchiEurope:

Website of the European construction technology platform:

EU impact assessment in practice

Consult a list of impact assessments that the EU has carried out on various legislative packages at:

ACE website

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  

Editor’s note

The editorial board for the compilation of ACE Info is:

The ACE President: Marie-Helene Lucas
The Secretary General of the ACE: Alain Sagne
Senior Advisor to the ACE: Adrian Joyce

ACE Info is normally issued around the second Wednesday of each month.  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/fsPublicNetwork_EN.html

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



The editorial board wishes to acknowledge the sources of information for this issue of ACE Info which include EFCA, FEANI, URBACT, the Euractiv website (www.euractiv.com) and Bulletin Quotidien Europe.

[email protected] - Comments and contributions welcome


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