The Working of the Services Directive in the Construction Sector

On 3 April the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held a public hearing on the working of the Services Directive in the construction sector at which CEPI was represented. The results of a pilot study on this topic were presented.The Services Directive is of course of great significance to the real estate sector as a whole and a priority issue for CEPI. There continues to be emphasis placed at EU level on the importance of its full and correct implementation. 

It was emphasized that the Services Directive is one of the most important legislative acts of recent years, the construction sector is one of the most sensitive in economic terms, and that the impact of the Services Directive on the sector cannot be looked at without also considering the Posting of Workers Directive. 

The pilot study is based on the results of a survey carried out by the EESC of the views of stakeholders in six EU Member States (Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal and Romania). Interviews were carried out with representatives of civil society and national government officials. In principle the views expressed confirm that free movement, as ensured by the Services Directive, is regarded as being a good thing, but reservations remain about the lack of accompanying measures and in particular difficulties in fighting unfair competition. The implementation of the Services Directive has brought about rapid changes in some countries, accompanied to some extent by the development of ideas such as self-regulation but which need to be further developed. Problems remain with the amount of information available to consumers and differences in social security systems.
It was emphasized that there was a great deal of agreement between shareholders on the issues raised with them. There is a need to look at how free movement is being exercised in practice and to crack down on fraud and unfair practices. Failure to address these issues could adversely affect the level of confidence in the EU. Many differences in fact remain between the national markets for labour and services. This is also true of the regulated professions.
The final version of the study will be put to a plenary session of the EESC for approval and adoption. More information is available at .