European Real Estate Week

Property professionals from all over Europe met in the last week of January in Brussels for European Real Estate Week. Around twenty representatives of our member associations participated and met with European decision makers, MEPs, Commission officials and other interested stakeholders, in order to raise their awareness of the problems professionals are facing daily, and to inform them on our concerns as regards the energy efficiency of buildings, the recognition of professional qualifications across borders and the importance of the property market to the economy.
Property professionals have an important role to play in the effective implementation of legislation on the energy efficiency of buildings. Their knowledge and experience are key to successful large scale renovation. We want solutions to be found to the owner/tenant dilemma (who is going to pay for investments in energy efficiency and who is going to benefit from the work). We recommend a better supply of information and practical advice at an individual level (via energy performance certificates), and in general to inform consumers and encourage owners to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings. We also promote the education and training of property professionals in matters related to energy efficiency.

As regards the recognition of professional qualifications, we emphasized the fact that the Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications in its present form places professionals in a difficult position. We want to understand why attempts to establish a common platform under Article 15 of the Directive have failed, and to find a solution, such as changing the current wording to simplify the scheme, or finding alternative solutions including the development of a set of criteria establishing a minimum level of qualification, or a European certificate to assist professionals in getting their qualifications recognized everywhere in the European Union.

The role of the real estate sector in the financial crisis is a complicated one which calls for further analysis and information. In developing the roadmap out of the crisis and strengthening financial regulation it is important to look at the property market and its economic role which cannot be understood without better knowledge. We therefore underlined the importance of this market and the need for more research and analysis at a European level.

MEPs gave us a very warm welcome, and we wish to thank again our guests, speakers and participants in particular for their involvement in this week full of events and importance for the sector.