On 16 December 2011, the Danish Presidency presented its priorities for the following six months. Of the issues presented, the following are of relevance to, and will be closely followed by, CEMBUREAU:
On 6 January 2012, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) confirmed that the requirements of their recommendations regarding “mineral companies” should not apply to the cement industry. This follows the publication of non-binding guidelines regarding the prospectus to be issued by mineral companies, including cement companies, listed on the stock exchange.
CEMBUREAU is pleased to announce the appointment of Koen Coppenholle as the Chief Executive of CEMBUREAU. Mr Coppenholle will take over this role upon the retirement of Dr Jean-Marie Chandelle on 1 July 2012. Following a distinguished legal career, Koen Coppenholle has been Head of European Affairs for ArcelorMittal in Brussels since November 2007. Between September 2000 and November 2007, he was Senior Counsel European Affairs with General Electric Europe in Brussels. Mr Coppenholle will already join the CEMBUREAU Team on 2 April 2012 to ensure a smooth transition.
On 20 December 2011, the European Commission announced the revision of two of its public Procurement Directives. One of the Commission’s main objectives with these revisions is to facilitate a qualitative improvement in the use of public procurement by ensuring greater environmental criteria. Both cement and concrete are covered under the proposal for a Directive on public procurement. Concrete is also covered under the proposal for a Directive on procurement by entities operating in the water energy transport and postal services sectors.
On 11 January 2012, the European Commission launched a consultation on “Delivering more Sustainable Consumption and Production”. The aim of the consultation is to obtain input regarding the possible introduction of EU-wide Sustainable Consumption and Production measures and asks for targeted feedback on:
On 4 January 2012, the European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) published its draft report on the proposal for a regulation on European Standardisation. In this draft report, the rapporteur Lara Comi (Group of the European People's Party [Christian Democrats], Italy) notes the importance of the “principle of national delegation as a cornerstone of the European standardisation system”.
On 25 January 2012, the Industry, Trade and Research Committee (ITRE) of the European Parliament voted on Kent Johansson’s (Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Sweden) draft opinion on a Resource Efficient Europe. One issue of concern to the European cement industry is the proposal to shift taxation away from labour towards resource consumption. As indicated in the September 2011 Eurobrief Editorial, the European Commission insists that the tax neutrality would be observed.
On 25 January 2012, CEMBUREAU discussed with BIOS, the consultant in charge, the ecodesign study related to industrial and laboratory furnaces and ovens, including cement kilns. CEMBUREAU is concerned that the study looks at cement kilns as “products” without taking into account the whole clinker production process. The Association will write to BIOS and the European Commission to explain its concerns and contribute to the study. The proposed eco-design parameters i.e. fossil fuels/ air ratio, insulation performance and heat recovery cannot be applied to cement kilns.
On 12 December 2011, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new LIFEi programme. LIFE is “the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU”. The next programme will run from 2014-2020 and the proposal earmarks €3.2 billion in funding. Several new elements have been added, including the proposed creation of a ‘Climate Action’ sub-programme. Other priority areas include Biodiversity and Resource Efficiency.
On 26 January 2012, the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSIi) launched its Guidelines on Quarry Rehabilitation. This document provides practical guidance for managing the impacts of quarrying activities and ensuring that environments are properly revitalized. The project was carried out by a group of member companies and is based on methods that they have successfully employed. It reflects the principles of quarry rehabilitation, and outlines the conditions and milestones for developing rehabilitation plans.