Commission Consults on Barriers to Retail Establishment

The European Commission was consulting on how to make it easier for retailers to do business within the EU, particularly given the growth of e-commerce and the accelerate multi-channel retail environment. The consultation was originally announced in the April 2017 Roadmap on Best Practices on retail regulation. The Roadmap proposes the adoption of a set of (non-legislative) best practices which member states can use when assessing and modernising national rules on setting up and operating retail outlets.

The Commission is concerned about a lack of growth in the European retail sector, in particular when compared with the US, where less restrictive entry conditions apply.

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European Semester – 2017 Romania Report

This report provides an assessment of Romania’s economy as described in the European Commission’s Annual Growth Survey published on 16 November 2016. In the survey the Commission calls on EU Member States to double their efforts on the three elements of the virtuous triangle of economic policy – boosting investment, pursuing structural reforms and ensuring responsible fiscal policies.

Some of the most important conclusion are:

Romania’s economy has been on an upward trend for the past two years. A post-crisis peak in terms of growth has been achieved in 2016 (at 4.9 %), strongly influenced by domestic demand on the back of procyclical fiscal policies. The rate of growing is estimated to lose some momentum, but remain elevated over the following years with a forecast for 4.4 % in 2017 and 3.7 % in 2018. However, the current account deficit deteriorated in 2016 and is estimated to deteriorate further driven by import growth due to strong domestic demand. Private consumption was at an elevated level as a result of wage hikes and indirect tax cuts. While private investment was supported by low interest rates and stable investor confidence, public investment declined in 2016 due to an unremarkable management of EU funding.

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Effective asset management and maintenance – RABO Training Programme

It is your aim to be a world-class company? The maintenance and asset management strategy has a critical role to play in obtaining this objective. Your strategy must define the processes required to achieve the top most possible degree of maintenance management and cost effectiveness, profitability while reducing life-cycle costs of new assets and existing assets. Maintenance has a significant cost driver role, the guarantee for reliability and quality of service. Assets deteriorate and if you do not maintain, you will deteriorate your service, loose customers and in the end lose your assets.

From the principles of an effective asset management and maintenance to scheduling and controlling maintenance works, this training programme will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the topic through a unique approach illustrated by Steve Gladwin, Director of Nodus Solutions Limited a privately owned Facility Management company based in the UK. [Read more…]

Sustainable Development

In building development, sustainability is one of the vaster and complex topics which requires careful consideration from the very start, given the significance of potential environmental impact. Recently, a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) was carried out to evaluate the application of the Directive in all Member States since the date of its entry into application (21 July 2004). The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) represents an important apparatus for integrating environmental considerations into the preparation and adoption of initiatives towards promoting sustainable development.

The current assessment of the SEA Directive encompasses discoveries and conclusions from the two preceding Commission implementation reports to the Council and the European Parliament, prepared under Article 12(3) of the SEA Directive.

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Further proof that EU funding for energy efficiency is not just for housing

The focus of European policies aimed at a competitive low-carbon economy is buildings. Minimizing the energy footprint of existing buildings and achieving close to zero energy buildings represent the core of the Energy Efficiency Directive. In accordance to the EU’s commitment energy efficiency first policies, Member States are looking to adopt actions to make energy savings from the building sector.

Encouraging investment in sustainable energy projects is one of the strategic priorities of European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). But how stakeholders in the building sector can collaborate to transform the European building stock into a highly efficient environment?

Castellum provides a great example on how a private real estate developer can use EU funds and European Investment Bank (EIB) credit for constructing office buildings with maximum energy efficiency. Recently, the EIB has signed a EUR 75 million loan with real estate company Castellum, for the construction of two “Nearly zero-energy buildings” in Sweden. The loan was made possible by the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), central pillar of the European Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe.

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Managing Risk in Facilities Management

Every building and every business is faced with a number of risks. Risks are a part of our daily lives. The results of some of the smaller risks might not be important. However the consequences of a major risk such as fire or flood can be catastrophic and will seriously affect the building, the business and people.

What are risks? How can they be identified and assessed before they occur? What is necessary for a good risk assessment and analysis? A clear understanding of how the business works and what is quickly needed in the event of a disruption could mean the difference between success and failure of the business. This is why we organize one-day training – Understanding and Managing Risk in Facilities Management on May 11, 2017.

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