ACE Info 10.04
English language version
Welcome to the tenth issue in 2004 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 marks the anniversary of the first issue of ACE Info and covers the months of October and November 2004.
This issue is also available in French.
POLICY BOOK PRESENTED TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
On the 7th October 2004, the ACE presented its Policy Book “Architecture & Quality of Life”, with its 21 Key Messages for the 21st Century to the European Parliament. It was presented at an event organised by the ACE in the Parliament buildings, an event that was attended by over 80 people. Among these were 10 Members of the European Parliament and 30 assistants of MEP’s who could not attend in person. Also present were officials from many of the Directorates General of the Commission as well as officials from the other EU Institutions, with whom the ACE has regular contact. The event has been followed up by a dissemination of the Policy Book to all those MEP’s who could not attend on the day. The response that the ACE has had to the content of the book, from those present and from those who had received the book earlier, is that it is very timely and pertinent to the main policy and legislative issues that are occupying the EU Institutions at this time.
The ACE Policy Book can be downloaded
in pdf format from the ACE web site:
SEMINAR ON PUBLIC PROCUREMENT
The joint seminar on the new Public Procurement Directives that was organised by the ACE in conjunction with EFCA and ECCE, the two main European representative organisations for the engineering profession, was attended by over 110 people, about 40 of whom were officials from the EU Commission or officials from the Permanent Representations of the Member States. The seminar discussed the changes that the new directives will introduce and saw the launching of the ACE guidelines document, intended to assist the Member States to properly transpose the provisions that will affect the procurement of architectural services.
ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM MEMBER ORGANISATIONS
The BAK (Germany) has elected a new President. He is Professor Arno Sighart Schmid and he is a Landscape Architect by training.
The BDA (Germany) has a new Secretary
General. He is Dr. Bernhard Schneider and he has already taken up his
EUROPEAN TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM – ETP “BUILDING FOR A FUTURE EUROPE
The platform (see also ACE Info 9-04) has been formally launched at the B4E Conference in Maastricht on the 14th October 2004, organised as a joint initiative of ECCREDI and E-CORE. The launch took place following introductory remarks from the Dutch Minister for Construction and a message of support from Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for Research in office. The event was attended by over 350 persons and it generated significant interest among those present. The challenge for the Platform now is to pursue its initial work on the writing of a Vision 2030 for the Built Environment and the establishment of a Strategic Research Agenda to achieve that Vision. The ACE will be looking to its Member Organisations and delegates to come forward with nominees to take part in this crucial work over the coming months so as to ensure that the concerns of the architectural profession are properly and fully represented in the work.
The ACE will be represented on the High Level Group of the Platform by Dominique Perrault, the world famous French architect and on the Support Group (in fact the steering group) of the platform by Vesa Peltonen, ex-member of the ACE Executive Board and Managing Director of the largest architectural consultancy in Finland.
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT SETS UP INTERGROUP ON URBAN ISSUES
An Inter-Group in the European Parliament on Urban Issues is in the process of being established as a formal inter-group. Political agreement was reached on 26th October 2004 between a number of MEPs on a cross-political basis. This initiative builds on the work of the Parliamentary Urban Policy Working Group that was set up in the outgoing Parliament and with which the ACE, along with other partners, had a significant involvement. The Inter-Group has yet to be officially backed by the relevant political groups and to receive (at the time of writing) the formal approval of the Parliament. This will allow it to draw on the Parliament’s resources and facilities. The President of the Group will be Jan Olbrycht (PPE-DE) of Poland and there will be two Vice-Presidents, Arlene McCarthy (PSE) and Jean-Marie Beaupuy (ALDE). The ACE has close contacts to Jan Olbrycht, who is a vice Chairman of the EP Committee on Regional Development.
The ACE has reinforced its links to EUROCITIES, the European Network of large cities and the two organisations intend to ensure that the Parliament is informed, in a timely way, of issues that affect urban policy. Among these will be the Communication of the Commission on its Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment on which the Parliament is expected to give an opinion in the near future. Other issues that will be promoted include the question of Public Private Partnerships, funding for urban research and regeneration of urban areas. However, the central topic will be the urban dimension in the draft Regulation on the Structural Funds and the Financial Perspectives.
ARCHITECTS DIRECTIVE – ADVISORY COMMITTEE
A meeting of the Diplomas Working Group of the Advisory Committee took place on the 9th November 2004. It was convened after the Dutch Government expressed concerns about the request of the Austrian Government to list a new qualification from the Fachhochschule Technicum of Carinthia in Spittal/Drau. The qualification to be considered by the working group is a two-year Masters that is being proposed as part of the reforms agreed between countries and known as the “Bologna Process”. The concerns of the Dutch Government relate not only to the duration of studies required to get the qualification (2 years as the second part of a cycle where a first qualification of 3 years duration is required before admission), but also on the content of the curriculum. This will be the first such consideration by the Advisory Committee of a qualification that arises from the Bologna reforms and it will raise interesting questions about the process. A meeting of the full Advisory Committee to consider the recommendation of the working group will take place in early 2005.
SERVICES IN THE INTERNAL MARKET (SIM)
The President of the Competitiveness Council, Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, was “pleasantly surprised” at the outcome of the informal discussion that took place in the Council on the 23rd September last on the proposed SIM Directive. The fight on the directive is not yet won, with most Member States opposed to one or more points in the text, however Mr. Brinkhorst said that he was convinced that the Member States will move on and be realistic about the difficult negotiations that lie ahead. It is worth noting that countries such as France, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy and Austria are calling for the regulated professions (including architecture) to be excluded from the scope of the directive. Central to the concerns expressed so far is the proposed implementation of the country of origin principle and the fear that the provisions of the Directive will lead to a dismantling of the social systems in the Member States.
The adoption of the directive is seen as being of great importance to the achievement of the Lisbon Agenda, and the incoming Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, Mr. Charlie McGreevy (IRL), has stated that it will be one of his main priorities. Interestingly, the new name of the DG Internal Market is to be “Internal Market and Services”, which is a clear indication of the higher priority given to the services.
In the European Parliament, a public hearing on the proposed directive has been organised for the 11th November 2004. It is being jointly organised by the Internal Market and Consumer Affairs Committee and the Employment Committee. The main rapporteur is Evelyne Gebhardt (PSE, Germany), with whom the ACE has good contacts.
RESHUFFLED BARROSO COMMISSION PRESENTED TO PARLIAMENT
Following the controversial hearings in front of the European Parliament of the Commissioners-Designate of the Barroso Commission, the team has been reshuffled and is being presented for a vote. It is expected that the Parliament will now accept the new team.
Charlie McGreevy (IRL) who will be the Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services has emphasised the need to ensure the early adoption of the SIM Directive and the Qualifications Directive. He sees these as inter-linked initiatives that are crucial to the chances of the EU achieving the Lisbon Agenda by the deadline of 2010.
Stavros Dimas (GR) who will be the
Commissioner on the Environment, has said that he is convinced that growth
and competitiveness can go hand in hand with environmental protection.
He set his priorities as the fight against climate change, the protection
of biodiversity, environmental factors that harm human health, especially
in urban areas where the problems are their worst and the adoption of
more sustainable production and consumption modes.
EESC CONTACT WITH ORGANISED CIVIL SOCIETY
The European Economic and Social Committee has established a formal set of procedures through which it intends to better consult with organised civil society in the future. The ACE, together with its partners in Club Profile, has prepared a memorandum of understanding whereby the group of professions represented by Club Profile will be considered by the EESC as legitimate representatives of the liberal professions. In the first instance it will be the ACE that will be the interlocutor between the group and the EESC, and it is intended that this task will then be carried out on a rotational basis by the different professions involved. This should assist in maintaining the profile of the liberal professions in all matters of concern to the EESC. The EESC is expected to make its decision soon.
In the meantime, the EESC has elected Mrs Anne-Marie Sigmund, Austria, as its President. Mrs Sigmund, with whom the ACE has an excellent relationship, is a lawyer by training and was previously the Chair of the Group III of the EESC “Various Interests” that includes the Liberal Professions.
SURVEY ON NATIONAL REGULATIONS FOR THE ENGINEERING PROFESSIONS
FEANI, together with all of its National
Members, has started an in-depth survey of the regulation practices in
each of the EU Member States concerning the engineering professions. The
objective is to finalise the survey in a short time so that a consolidated
document on the proposed qualifications directive of the EU can be prepared
within six months. FEANI welcomes all contributions to this work, which
is accessible at:
ERABUILD INITIATIVE LAUNCHED
A three-year project aimed at supporting
the European Research Area (ERA) in the field of sustainable construction
and the operation of buildings has been launched. Eight Member States
are participating in the initiative and it aims to develop a basis for
a European approach to the sector. The countries participating in the
initiative are Finland (co-ordinator), Austria, Denmark, France, Germany,
Sweden, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Further information is
PUBLIC PROCUREMENT RULES
The European Commission has begun proceedings against Member States that have failed to respect the European directives on public procurement advertising. Countries included are France, Denmark, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Spain and Finland. The proceedings range from the issuing of reasoned opinions to referrals to the Court of Justice. The issues at hand range from the giving of inadequate time to competitors to appeal the award of contracts to the awarding of successive contracts without competition. The timing of these proceedings, which coincides with the process of transposing the new Public Procurement directives into national law, may be intended to ensure that the new directives are better transposed that the first directives were.
ITALIAN FRAMEWORK LAW ON PUBLIC WORKS PROCUREMENT
The European Court of Justice has stated that the Italian framework law on public works procurement runs counter to Community law in that it fixes a single criterion for awarding contracts. This deprives public contract awarding authorities of the power to take into account the nature and specific features of each market and to choose the most appropriate criteria for free competition. The case in question was the construction of a car-park in the town of Brescia.
CONSULTATION ON ELECTRONIC PROCUREMENT
The European Commission has launched
an online consultation aimed at identifying opportunities and challenges
in electronic public procurement. This is part of drawing up an action
plan (to be unveiled before the end of the year) to help make sure that
Europe’s economy gets the maximum benefit from the implementation of the
new provisions on electronic procurement included in the legislative package
of procurement directives adopted in February 2004. The consultation can
be viewed at:
LISBON STRATEGY – KOK REPORT
The Kok Report, which is a mid-term
review of the Lisbon Agenda, was submitted to the Commission on the 3rd
November 2004 and to the social partners on the 4th November
2004. It was also presented to the European Parliament. It calls for the
re-launch of the Lisbon Agenda with immediate action in science, entrepreneurship,
the internal market, the labour market and sustainable environment. It
is critical of progress that has been made to date and it casts doubts
on whether the EU has the political will to achieve the Lisbon Objectives
in time. In particular the report the need to adopt, by the end of 2005
at the latest, the proposed directive on Services in the Internal Market
(SIM). It is clear that this topic will continue to be high on the agenda
of the EU and in the minds of all those affected by its provisions. Initial
reactions from the Council and Parliament and also from various circles
are contrasted, ranging from clear support to critical judgement of its
shortcomings. The report will serve as background for the planned review
of the Lisbon Strategy at the spring Summit. The report can be downloaded
SOLVIT – A NETWORK TO HELP SOLVE PROBLEMS WITHIN THE INTERNAL MARKET
While the Internal Market generally
works well, sometimes citizens and businesses run into problems resulting
from possible misapplication of Internal Market rules by public administrations
in other Member States. SOLVIT has been set up to resolve such problems
as efficiently as possible without the need for legal action. The system
works through a network of SOLVIT Centres based in the national administrations
of each Member State. The system is free of charge and can be consulted
TONY BLAIR CALLS FOR NEW GREEN INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
In a speech delivered on the 14th
September 2004, Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the UK, called for a new
green industrial revolution. He promised strong environmental diplomacy,
calling upon world leaders to take urgent steps to combat climate change.
This is good news for the ACE as it demonstrates that concerns about the
planet, sustainability and the environment have reached a high level of
priority on the agenda of the UK demonstrating that it is only when Member
States decide to take action that real progress will commence. The text
of the speech can be downloaded from:
TOWARDS CLASS “A”
This project proposal, in which the ACE is to be a partner, relates to the taking of measures by local authorities across the EU that will go beyond the provisions of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. The proposal having successfully passed the evaluation stage has been accepted by the Commission. Contract negotiations are well advanced. The objective is to identify and publicise public buildings that can become shining examples of energy efficient performance and to devise ways of encouraging the public sector to take a significant lead in the implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.
EUROPEAN CULTURAL NETWORK DATABASE
The “BalkanKult” organisation for cultural
co-operation has updated its European Cultural Network database. It now
contains more than 170 networks that are ready to help identify partners
for future cultural co-operation. The address of the database is:
EU MINISTERS AGREE TO BAN CHEMICALS IN TOYS
The Competitiveness Council of the EU has unanimously voted in favour of a ban on certain chemicals in toys for young children. The vote came on the 24th September last and relates to the use of phtalates in toys intended for children under the age of three. As these chemicals are used in a wide range of products including PVC building materials, this may signal a future ban for the use of these chemicals in those products too. However, industry representatives have stated that they are considering legal action in front of the European Court of Justice if the decision is confirmed by the European Parliament.
UNESCO ADOPTS DRAFT TREATY ON THE PROTECTION OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY
The Member States have adopted, at the end of September 2004, a draft treaty on the protection of cultural diversity that was drafted by a group of independent experts. The incoming Commissioner for Culture, Jan Figel, has stated during his hearing at the European Parliament, that he believes that this initiative is one of the solutions to build a cultural pillar within international law. He also reported that the Commission has recently a recommendation to the Council in which it called to be able to take part in the UNESCO negotiations on behalf of the European Union.
BULGARIAN AND ROMANIAN ACCESSION TO THE EU CONFIRMED
The European Commission has confirmed that both Bulgaria and Romania should be able to fulfil the economic criteria by 2007 and that they will, in principle, be able to join the EU on the 1st January 2007.
CITY SUMMIT AND MINISTERIAL MEETING: URBAN ISSUES ON POLITICAL AGENDA
Several important activities are addressing urban issues during the Dutch presidency. About 500 participants attended a City Summit in Noordwijk (Netherlands) on 18 and 19 October. This conference, co-organised by the European Commission (DG REGIO) and the Dutch government, brought together European Mayors, Ministers responsible for Urban Affairs, the URBAN II managing authorities and other interested parties (ACE was present) to discuss the urban dimension of European Cohesion Policy. It was followed by the annual meeting of the URBACT Network.
On 29 and 30 November an EU Informal
Ministerial meeting on Territorial Cohesion and Urban Policy will be taking
place in Rotterdam. Link:
YEA – YOUNG EUROPEAN ARCHITECTS SEMINAR
The YEA Seminar took place in Rotterdam on the weekend of the 22-24th October 2004. It discussed the current situation of the young European architect in the current political, cultural and economic context of the EU. For further information on the outcome of the seminar contact Olaf van de Wal at [email protected]
EUROPEAN FORUM FOR ARCHITECTURAL POLICIES
The YEA Seminar was organised in conjunction
with a Conference of the European Forum for Architectural Policies on
the theme “Encounter & Exchange -The Culture of Architecture and Spatial
Planning in the European Union and with a meeting of the Forum Steering
Committee also in Rotterdam, which were held on 25 and 26 October respectively.
These events were supported by the ministries of Education, Culture and
Science (OCW) and of Spatial Planning, Housing and the Environment (VROM)
within the framework of the Dutch presidency. A Declaration of the Forum
was addressed to the Ministers in charge of Urban Policies in which it
is emphasised that architectural policies are an integral part of any
holistic approach to urban policies. Further information on the Forum
EUROPEAN COMMISSION AND UNEP STRENGTHEN PARTNERSHIP
On the 20th September 2004
the European Commission and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen their co-operation
to fight global threats to the environment more effectively and to facilitate
implementation of the commitments made at the World Summit on Sustainable
Development (Johannesburg 2002). The memorandum establishes a framework
for structured and more systematic co-operation between the two institutions
on the basis of regular meetings at senior and expert level, strategic
policy discussions and financial co-operation. The two areas for this
action will initially be encouraging sustainable methods of production
and consumption and curbing the trend to reduce biodiversity. However,
the two institutions reserve the right to extend the scope over time.
SPECIAL EDITION OF THE OFFICIAL JOURNAL
The Publications Office of the European
Union is issuing the printed volumes of the Official Journal of the European
Union in the nine new official languages. It contains all of the secondary
legislation adopted by the European Union before the enlargement of the
1st May 2004. The printed versions are being issued between
May and December 2004 in paper and CD-ROM versions. Provisional versions
are already available on the EUR-Lex portal to European Union Law at:
STATE OF THE WORLD’S CITIES 2004/05
Subtitled “Cultural Diversity and Other
Formidable Challenges Facing 21st Century Cities” this publication
has recently been launched by UN-HABITAT. According to this report, a
vast international migration of people in search of a better life has
been set in motion by globalisation. It states that, while this benefits
many cities through cultural diversity, it could lead to greater fragmentation
and larger inequities between rich and poor in cities. Further information
can be found at:
EUROPEAN E-BUSINESS REPORT 2004
The e-Business [email protected] of the
European Commission, Enterprise Directorate has recently published its
2004 report. It presents electronic business profiles of 10 sectors of
the European Economy. It is available in electronic format from the following
Described as “A Photo Project: Migrant
Perspectives” this publications drafts an urban map of views of traumatic
and conflictual zones in the cities of Vienna, Graz, Warsaw, Ljubljana,
Brest, Helsingborg, london and Newcastle. For more information go to:
SB 05 TOKYO
The 2005 World Sustainable Building
Conference is due to take place in Tokyo on the 27-29th September
2005. It is being organised by public and private sector organisations
in Japan, with the support of iiSBE and CIB. Further details at:
TERRITORY, URBANISATION AND LANDSCAPES
The Permanent Conference of Territorial
Development has announced that it will be holding its fourth seminar on
the 19th November 2004 in Liege, Belgium. The full programme
and registration details can be downloaded at:
INNOVATIVE PUBLIC AND COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS
An early announcement of this conference,
which forms part of the World Sustainable Energy days 2005, has been made
by the Austrian organisers. It will be held in Wels, Austria on the 3rd
March 2005. Full details, including a call for papers and for entries
to a photography competition can be found at:
INTERNATIONAL COLLOQUIUM ON ARCHITECTURE AND CONCRETE
To be held in Antwerp, Belgium on the 3rd of December 2004, the organisers hope to attract significant interest from architects to attend this conference. Full details can be requested from [email protected]
PASSIVE AND LOW ENERGY COOLING FOR THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
A call for papers for this important
conference has been made with a deadline set at the 30th November
2004. The Conference itself will be held on the 19-21st May
2005 on Santorini Island, Greece. Full details can be found at:
ARCHITECTURE + ART = NEW VISIONS, NEW STRATEGIES
The 2nd International Conference
on the Research of Modern Architecture, organised by the Alvar Aalto Academy,
will take place in Jyvaskyla on the 19-21st August 2005. A
call for papers has been issued with a deadline for abstracts of the 15th
December 2004. Full details can be found at:
EUROPEAN CONSTRUCTION SAFETY SUMMIT: BUILDING IN SAFETY
The closing event of the European Week
for Safety and Health at Work 2004 will be held in Bilbao, Spain on the
22nd November 2004. Under the slogan of “Building in Safety”
the summit will bring together leading European experts, decision-makers
and industry representatives to debate and to reach agreement on how Europe
can raise the levels of safety and health in the construction industry.
The ACE will be represented at the summit by John Graby, Director of the
ACE Member Organisation from Ireland – the RIAI. Further information on
the campaign and the work of the Agency organising the event see:
THE 7TH PHILIPPE ROTHIER EUROPEAN PRIZE FOR ARCHITECTURE
This award is organised by the Fondation Pour l’Architecture in Brussels and is awarded to projects that are completed between 2002 and 2005. The total prize money for this prize is €30,000 and the jury will deliberate on the nominations projects on the 10th and 11th July 2005. Entries must be submitted no later than the 15th April 2005 and full details on how to take part can be requested by writing to: [email protected]
2005 UNESCO PRIZE FOR ARCHITECTURE
Being organised in the context of the
next UIA Congress in Istanbul (3-7 July 2005), the theme of this prize
is “EXTREME – Creating Space in Extreme and Extraordinary Conditions”.
This is a student prize that aims to give future architects the opportunity
of putting their creative potential to the test. Full details on the prize
and how to enter can be found at:
This is an ideas competition open to
architects from around the world. Its theme is the design of a next generation
observatory which renovates the vision of tourism in the South American
Desert setting of the Nazca Plains. Full details at:
CAMPUS ENTRANCE – UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
On the 26th October 2004,
the University of British Columbia announced the launch of an International
Architectural Competition for University Boulevard, the main entrance
to its Vancover campus. The university expects that the competition will
allow it to establish new standards of design excellence on its campus.
Full details at:
EUROPEAN COMMISSION HOMEPAGE
SEARCH PAGE FOR COMMISSION DOCUMENTS
WEBSITE OF THE DUTCH PRESIDENCY
SUSTAINABLE BUILDING WEBSITE
COAC INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS DATABASE:
CNAPPC DATABASE – ARCHIEUROPE:
DATABASE OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
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: Leopoldo Freyrie
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 FEANI, UN-HABITAT Features, the Euractiv website (www.euractiv.com) and Bulletin Quotidien Europe.
[email protected] – Comments and contributions welcome