ACE Info 3.06
English language version
Welcome to the third issue in 2006 of ACE Info, the regular update from the Architects' Council of Europe (ACE) 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 is also available in French.
Services Directive – The Commission Publishes its Amended Proposal
The European Commission published, on the 4th April last, its amended proposal for a Directive on Services in the Internal Market (the SIM Directive). As anticipated the revised proposal takes account of the vote of the European Parliament at First Reading (16th February 2006 – see ACE Info 2-06). The most significant elements of the revised proposal are that the scope of the Directive has been amended to exclude services of general interest, matters relating to the posting of workers (covered by an existing directive) and health services. Significantly legal services are included despite the fact that the Parliamentary vote had excluded them. The infamous “Country of Origin Principle (COP)” is excluded and is replaced by an Article entitled “Freedom to Provide Services” that some observers say is just as radical an approach in the opening up of markets as the COP was as it does not prescribe what legal regime services must be provided under. That is to say that the proposal does not introduce the need for a cross-border service provider to abide by the rules of the destination country.
The proposal has been debated at permanent representative level (in the COREPER) at a number of meetings held or scheduled during May. The objective of the Austrian Presidency in moving the debate to the COREPER level is to reach political agreement at the Competitiveness Council meeting of the 29th May. This seems to be an ambitious target as it has been reported that a majority of Member States are not satisfied with the parliamentary compromise on the cross-border provision of services. In the best possible scenario the Directive would be adopted at the end of 2006 with a two-year transposition period.
The ACE remains concerned on two matters:
1) the Article on Professional Indemnity Insurance remains (Art. 27),
but it does not seem that it will be workable for the architectural profession
as there will be no obligation on the Member States to impose it, nor
on the insurance industry to provide insurance along the lines required
by the Directive and the insurance industry is continuing to lobby strongly
against the ambitions of the Directive (at the time of writing there appeared
to still be considerable debate in Council on the topic) and 2) the Article
on Codes of Conduct (Art. 39) no longer obliges Member states to take
steps to introduce codes, leaving it to their discretion in the transposition
phase of the Directive. To view the revised text go to:
Disappointing Progress on the Transposition of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive
The number of EU Member States that
have reported that they have transposed the provisions of the Energy Performance
of Buildings Directive (EPBD) into their national law remained very low.
By the 5th February 2006, three countries had notified the
Commission that they have fully transposed the EPBD – Denmark, Ireland
and Italy with Belgium, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Austria, Poland and
Slovakia reporting partial transposition. When linked to the recent adoption
of the Energy Services Directive that will require Member States to achieve
a 9% saving in energy consumption over a period of 9 years and to the
increased uncertainty over energy supply security, the delay in the Implementation
of the EPBD by Member States will make the achievement of the targets
set down in the Energy Services Directive all the more difficult. For
useful information on the process of transposition of the EPBD, visit
the following website:
Urban Futures 2.0
This conference, entitled “Urban Futures 2.0” was organised by the City of Stockholm, the Swedish government and the European Commission with as a theme, governance and partnerships. It was held in Stockholm from the 3rd to the 5th May 2006 and was a follow-up to the earlier Urban Futures 1.0 conference of 2003. The conference is an integral part of the Swedish metropolitan policy and it contributes to the European agenda for urban issues agreed by the ministers in charge of urban affairs in Rotterdam, November 2004 and further developed by the Bristol Accord in December 2005. More than 650 people in total attended the conference, among whom were 8 Ministers, 40 Mayors, and a majority of city officials as well as Commission officials.
The ACE, in line with its policy of active participation in affairs of relevance to the profession, hosted a workshop session under the title of “Architecture – a mediator of urban tensions. The Vice-President of the ACE, Luciano Lazzari acted as moderator with Jan Olbrycht (MEP from Poland), Teresa Taboas (Minister for Housing and Land Development in Galicia, Spain) and Henning Thomsen (Director of the ACE Member Organisation AA in Denmark) making presentations. The audience for the workshop was composed of a majority of city officials. The debate covered the accountability of architects to the public and how this responsibility clashes with the much shorter-term vision favoured by politicians. It was generally agreed that the private market cannot solve the problems alone and a well thought out, coordinated and better planned programme of public intervention is essential in the protection of the public interest and in the fostering of an identity well suited to safer, high quality living spaces, which can be designed to respond in a more flexible and modest way to the changing needs of the users.
There were several plenary sessions with politicians and academics. Mr Jean-Marie Beaupuy MEP, President of the Inter-group Urban.Logement in the European Parliament, indicated that he has asked the Commission to foresee financial support for communication operations on urban actions.
During the closing session, Mr Jan Olbrycht MEP, Vice President of the Committee on Regional Development of the European Parliament and First Vice President of the Inter-group Urban.Logement emphasised the need for politicians and architects to work together and he also stressed the need to re-define cities with people and architects.
Ministerial Representatives of Finland and Germany stated the intention of their respective upcoming Presidencies of the EU to actively pursue the line of the Rotterdam and Bristol Ministerial Meetings.
Commissioner Danuta Hübner, in charge of Regional Policy, indicated that the Commission will give reinforced attention to urban issues, notably in the context of the Structural Funds, and also by reinforcing URBACT. She announced that the Commission will publish during the summer of 2006 a Communication on Strategic Guidelines following the consultation earlier this year on the Staff Working Paper on Cohesion policy and cities, which makes specific reference to architecture as a means to improve the attractiveness of cities and regions, which is a crucial element to create growth and jobs.
Sweden has set out to host a Conference Urban Futures 3.0 in 2009 during its Presidency of the EU.
It is also worthwhile mentioning that a Study on Cities of the Future realised by the consultancy firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers was presented during the Conference.
More details on the conference can
be found at:
The ACE strives to improve Quality of the Built Environment
At its first General Assembly in 2006, the ACE has clearly set out its political priorities by agreeing to the revised working structure of the ACE as implemented by the Executive Board. Central in these priorities is the decision that the ACE will work, in its interface with the EU Institutions to put the EU citizen at the heart of its policies and to raise the issue of the need for the policies of the EU to deliver a high quality of built environment for all. The ACE is convinced that pursuing this quality agenda will bring significant benefits to Europe and will assist in achieving the Lisbon and Gothenburg goals in an integrated manner. The ACE will set down its thinking on quality and will organise or sponsor a number of events that will culminate in a major European Summit on the quality of the built environment. The working title for the Summit is “Free Market Threats to Quality in the Built Environment” as it has become clear that free market thinking and its implementation is insufficient to achieve the benefits that European society is crying out for.
See the Press Release on the outcome
of the General Assembly at:
Build-for-All Project Document Open for Public Consultation
The ACE is one of 15 Partners in this EU-Funded project aimed at mainstreaming disabilities policies through the preparation of guidance on how contracting authorities can include accessibility as a criterion in the awarding of contracts in public procurement. The ACE has played a significant role in the preparation of the core element of the project – a Reference Manual that contains a Toolkit and Handbook on the inclusion of accessibility criteria in public procurement calls for tender.
The Reference Manual is now open for
a period of public consultation and the project partners are hopeful of
receiving a large number of contributions. Readers of ACE Info
are therefore urged to access the document and make their contributions
to this valuable work by logging on to:
EFAP Conference in Vienna
With the support of the Austrian Presidency
of the EU, the next event of the European Forum for Architectural Policies
(EFAP) will be held in Vienna on the 8th and 9th
of June and will coincide with the Austrian “Days of Architecture” event
scheduled for the same dates. The ACE is closely involved in the actions
of the EFAP and it will be present in Vienna where the main topic will
be the means to achieve quality in the built environment – an issue that
is central to the re-focused Strategy of the ACE. At the same event it
is expected that the Steering Committee of the EFAP will agree on giving
the Forum a more stable structure by the adoption of statutes that will
create a legal non-profit international association (AISBL). This move
is intended to assure the future of the Forum and to give it the means
to engage more fully in actions to promote architectural policies across
Europe. For more information see:
Co-operation Agreement between ACE and UIA
After several contacts and discussions during the course of 2005 and early in 2006, the Architects’ Council of Europe and the International Union of Architects (UIA) have signed a co-operation agreement in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The signing took place during the recent Assembly meeting of the ACE on 29 April in Brussels. UIA President Gaetan Siew and ACE President Jean-François Susini signed the document, in the presence of Giancarlo Ius and Martin Drahosky, respectively Vice President for UIA Region I and UIA Region II. Through this agreement the two Organisations among others undertake to establish a closer cooperation between them at political, technical and working levels. Notably, they will seek to identify more precisely the topics that are of common interest, in particular on relevant aspects of professional practice and trade of architectural services, including, in particular, matters relating to GATS/WTO and issues of common interest to UIA and the ACE. Moreover, through their respective decision-making bodies, they undertake to better define their respective areas of influence and action notably with a view to identify their relevant interlocutors and to avoid any unnecessary potential overlaps, and to agree on appropriate procedures and means to address the various institutions and authorities, possibly also in joint initiatives and actions.
New Presidents for Three Member Organisations of the ACE
In Malta, the Annual General Meeting of Kamra tal-Periti (KTP) confirmed the new Council for 2006 in which the architect, David Pace will act as President with David Felice (a member of the Executive Board of the ACE) acting as Vice-President. Also in Malta, the government has announced its intention, after much lobbying by the KTP, to develop, adopt and implement a National Policy for Architecture. The KTP has used the ACE publication entitled “Architecture and Quality of Life” as a cornerstone of its arguments in favour of the preparation of a National Policy for Architecture.
In Turkey, the Chamber of Architects of Turkey has recently elected its Central Executive Board as follows: Bülend Tuna, President, Erkan Karakaya, Vice-President, Necip Mutlu, Secretary General, Aysel Çetlnsoy, Treasurer with Emre Madran, Mehmet Bozhut and Kubilay Onal as ordinary members.
In Estonia, the new Chairman of the
Union of Estonian Architects (UEA) was elected at its General Assembly
on the 26th January. He is Ülar Mark and he succeeds Margit
Mutso in the post. The UEA has also informed the ACE of its website for
its bi-lingual (Estonian/English) architectural review “MAJA”. It can
be accessed at:
The RIAI Welcomes Report of Irish Competition Authority on the Profession
The Royal Institute of the Architects
of Ireland (RIAI) has given a broad welcome to the publication of the
Irish Competition Authority report on the architectural profession. The
report acknowledges the fact that there are few barriers to competition
in the architectural profession in Ireland and, significantly, it concludes
that the approach of the RIAI in relation to the gathering of information
on fees and how it is delivered to the public is acceptable. The RIAI
commissions a wholly independent fee survey by an outside body that analyses
the results and prepares charts for publication. These charts are then
published by the RIAI as cost information for members of the public. There
may be relevance for the profession across Europe as a whole in the conclusions
of the report. To access the report go to:
ACE Events and Meetings in May, June and July 2006:
Coordination Meeting for Thematic Area
Practice and Trade – 26th May – Brussels
European Charter for Housing
The Parliamentary Intergroup Urban-Housing adopted, on the 26th April, a proposal for a European Charter for Housing that was first discussed at a public meeting of the Intergroup on the 2nd February in Brussels. This political document sets out several principles such as the right to housing and the need for Member States to establish favourable frameworks in which housing policies can emerge. Among the issues highlighted at the meeting in February is the fact that, although housing is not one of the EU’s competences, policies developed and supported by the EU have definite influence in this area. The ACE, represented by its Secretary General at the meeting, called for the Charter to recognise that housing must, in addition to being provided to the citizens of the EU as a fundamental right, and to be decent, to be of a high quality and this call has been reflected in the adopted text. The link to the negotiations on the new period of the Structural Funds has also been made in that the Charter calls for works to social housing to be eligible for funding as housing is “a necessary good, a fundamental social right, a component of the European social pattern” and that its provision has a direct impact on growth and jobs. The Charter also suggests the setting up of a European Observatory for Housing so as to improve the knowledge of the EU of the situation through the collection of statistical indicators in the Member States.
Finally, an own-initiative report on housing will be prepared by the Regional Development Committee of the Parliament that will also further promote the text of the Charter.
The proposed text of the Charter can
be downloaded (in French) at:
The Commission Issues Infringement Procedures Against Greece and France
The Commission has sent a further reasoned opinion to Greece requesting it to comply immediately with the 2004 Court ruling on the recognition of architecture qualifications (ECJ case C-417/02). Greece has adopted and retained in force the provisions of national law that only take account of the architecture diplomas of other Member States published in the Greek legislation and not those published according to Directive 85/384/EEC on the mutual recognition of qualifications in architecture. Informed of the measures taken to correct the failings noted, the Commission nonetheless felt that these were inadequate for the purpose of coming into line with the Directive, despite the affirmations made by Greek authorities in their response to the letter of formal notice.
The Commission has also recently sent a reasoned opinion to France, the second stage of the infringement procedure set down in Article 226 of the EC Treaty, requesting it to modify its legislation that requires chief architects of historical monuments to be of French nationality. The Commission also contests the need for a competition procedure in order to provide a temporary service restoring listed historical monuments in France.
ACE-Info will report back on these procedures in due course.
Day of the Liberal Profession at the EESC
On the 12th June next, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), will be holding the first of what it hopes will become an annual event entitled “The Day of the Liberal Professions”. The programme for the day includes a number of high profile speakers and is divided into four distinct sessions. The first session will address the tension between EU competition law and regulations governing liberal professions, the second session will address self-regulation and self-government, the third session will address the services directive and liberal professions and the final session will look at consumer protection and liberal professions. The ACE will be well represented at the event as the President, a number of members of the Executive Board and representatives of several Member Organisations will attend together with the Secretary General and the Senior Adviser of the ACE. Furthermore, at the suggestion of the ACE, John Graby, Director of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) will be making a presentation in the fourth session on consumer protection that should be of particular interest as the Irish Government is in the late stages of introducing regulations that will, for the first time, protect the title architect in that country.
Further details can be requested from
the Secretariat of the ACE, or by looking at:
Wonderland – A Network of Young Architectural Practices
The ACE has held an exploratory meeting with the Wonderland Network of architectural practices. The Network has 99 member practices drawn from 9 EU Countries and the criteria applied to selecting new members is, that the practice must be in the early stages of establishment. The Network has organised a travelling exhibition of the work of the member practices that started in Austria, where the Network is legally established, in 2004 and which has visited each of the countries from which practices are drawn. The exhibition will culminate in a final event to be held as part of the Austrian Architecture Days from the 8th to the 10th June in Vienna (see above).
Following this exhibition, Wonderland intends to expand its membership to include practices from more EU Countries. It will then publish, twice a year, a magazine that will set down the concerns and experiences of the member practices as they face the challenges of establishing architectural practices in all corners of the EU. The first edition has already been published and was distributed with “A10” the established and well-respected architectural publication.
The ACE is exploring the possibility
of establishing a co-operation with Wonderland as it represents a potentially
valuable resource for the ACE in its ambition to establish and conduct
a Sector Study of the architectural profession. For more on Wonderland
Consultation on the Common Vocabulary for Public Procurement
The European Commission launched, on
the 7th March last, a public consultation on an updated version
of the Common Vocabulary for Public Procurement (CVPP). This is a system
for classifying and standardising references used in public procurement
and the consultation is open to public bodies, adjudicating bodies and
contractor companies. It is expected that this will allow for the elaboration
of a definitive CVPP version that is updated according to the needs of
users and the development of the electronic public procurement market.
The consultation can be accessed at:
On-line Consultation on the Future of the Internal Market Launched
The Directorate General for the Internal
Market and Services has launched a wide-ranging consultation on the future
of the Internal Market. The objective is to stimulate a lively public
debate that will permit the Commission to learn from all those who are
directly affected by the Internal Market and who are interested in its
future. The ACE is currently considering making a submission. The closing
date for participation is the 15th June 2006 and the consultation
can be accessed at:
Public Private Partnerships
The German Social Democrat, Barbara
Weiler, has been appointed to be the European Parliaments rapporteur on
the Commission’s Green Paper on Public Private Partnerships. To view the
Green Paper go to:
Website for the European Competition Network Launched
The European Competition Network (ECN)
– the European Commission together with the national competition authorities
in the EU – has launched a website providing businesses, their advisors
and citizens with information about antitrust enforcement. The ECN website
will, inter alia, provide one-stop access to news releases from all national
competition authorities, activity reports of each authority and access
to press releases. The address of the site is:
Europa Nostra Awards Announced
The European Commission and Europa
Nostra announced, on the 13th March last, the five top prizes
for the annual European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage – the Europa
Nostra Awards. The prizes will be awarded at a ceremony in Madrid in June
to the following: 1) Conservation of the Architectural Heritage: the Omeriye
Baths, Nicosia (Cyprus) 2) Conservation of Cultural Landscapes: Via de
la Plata, Extremadura (Spain) 3)Conservation of Works of Art: the Edward
Chambré Hardman Photographic Collection, Liverpool (United Kingdom)
4) Outstanding Studies: Dr Anna Sulimowska-Ociepka and the Technical University
of Silesia for Old Workers’ Estates in Upper Silesia (Poland) and 5) Dedicated
Service to Heritage Conservation: to the Maisons Paysannes de France.
For further information visit:
None to note this edition
7th European Commission Conference “SAUVEUR”
To be held from the 31st
May to the 3rd June in Prague, this Conference is titled “Safeguarded
Cultural Heritage – Understanding & viability for the Enlarged Europe”.
It will highlight the role of European cultural heritage research, assess
the impact of EU Policies on the conservation of European cultural heritage,
disseminate the results of relevant EU-funded research and refine, amend
and publish the main ideas and visions of various technology platforms
that touch upon cultural heritage.. Full details available by starting
Second European Landscape Conference
Due to take place in Lille (France)
from the 31st May to the 2nd June 2006, this event
will start with a full-day conference and be followed by a number of mobile
workshops that will visit and assess landscapes of significance or special
interest. Full details can be found at:
Towards the City Surface of Tomorrow
To be held in Vienna, Austria on the
8th and 9th June 2006, the goal of this conference
is to assess diffusive emissions from city surfaces and to discuss means
to reduce substance flows from such surfaces by new approaches and materials.
There will be a special emphasis placed on taking an integrated and systemic
approach (the city as a comprehensive urban system). Full details at:
ECCREDI Conference on Stimulating Innovation Among SMEs
Celebrating the 10th Anniversary
of the establishment of the European Council for Construction Research
Development and Innovation (ECCREDI), this Conference will be held in
Brussels on the 16th June. The Conference will explore past
experiences and new initiatives in different countries in relation to
the involvement of SMEs in research. Full details can be found at:
The Third Session of the World Urban Forum
To be held in Vancouver, Canada from
the 19th to the 13th June 2006, this forum will
examine and identify solutions to the challenges of urbanisations. The
event will mark the 30th anniversary of the first UN conference
on human settlements which was also held in Vancouver (1976) and which
led to the creation of UN-Habitat. Full details at:
Call for Ideas – Reykjavik Airport
An international ideas competition
for the re-development of the Reykjavik airport site, located close to
the heart of the city. The City intends to identify eight teams who will
each be awarded €90,000 for the submission of proposals for the development
of the old airport site. Full details, including an information video,
can be found at:
Southbank Competition – South Africa
This is a two-stage competition that
includes architecture and urban design in the development of a large stretch
of land in South Africa. The first stage is open to all architects and
there is a prize fund of $225,000. Full details at:
Stockholm Public Library International Architectural Competition
The Stockholm Public Library, designed
by Gunnar Asplund, has been the city’s main library since it was inaugurated
in nearly 75 years ago and the aim of the competition is to ensure that
the building remains the city’s main library as the city expands. It will
be a two-stage competition with the first stage starting on the 1st
June 2006. Full details about the competition can be found at:
EAAE Prize for Writings in Architectural Education
The EAAE have announced the 2005-2007
EAAE prize on the theme of “Representation in Architecture”. It aims to
stimulate original writings on the subject of architectural education
in order to promote the quality of architectural teaching in Europe. The
deadline for contributions for the 2005-2007 prize is the 12th
October 2006. Full details can be found at:
European Commission homepage
Search page for Commission documents
The Barroso Commission:
Website of the Austrian Presidency
European Forum for Architectural Policies
Sustainable building website
Collegi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya
(COAC) international relations database:
Consiglio Nazionale degli Architetti,
Pianificatori, Paesaggisti e Conservatori (CNAPPC) database - ArchiEuro:
Website of the European Construction
EU Impact Assessment in Practice
Register of Expert Groups of the European
ArchiEuropa website – comparative information
on practice of architecture:
Summary of current competitions:
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:
The editorial board for the compilation of ACE Info is:
The ACE President: Jean-François Susini
The ACE Vice-President Luciano Lazzari
The Secretary General of the ACE: Alain Sagne
Senior Advisor 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/fsPublicNetwork_EN.html
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.
The editorial board wishes to acknowledge the sources of information for this edition of ACE Info which include the RIAI, the European Urban Knowledge Network, the Euractiv website (www.euractiv.com) and Bulletin Quotidien Europe.
[email protected] - Comments and contributions welcome