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FIEC calls on coordination on Ukrainian’s reconstruction and sets up a dedicated task force

European Union, 2022 /Photographer: Ramin MazurThe European Construction Industry Federation since short after the beginning of the war is in touch with Ukrainian member federation to help organize the reconstruction of Ukraine. In order to better coordinate this phase and to connect Ukrainian and European enterprises and authorities, they set up a task force that will start to be operative this week.

While the war in Ukraine keeps on going after more than four months since its break out, Ukrainian and the EU are starting to think about the reconstruction of the country. As EU Commission’s president Ursula von Der Leyen and representatives from 41 countries and 19 international organizations, including some leading figures from the World Bank and the United Nations, are meeting in Lugano today and tomorrow for a two-day conference about reconstruction in Ukraine, the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) - explained to Fasi the Director of FIEC Domenico Campogrande - already opened a dialogue with Ukrainian authorities and the Ukrainian member federation (CBU) to help coordinating the rebuilding process of the war-thorn country.

FIEC, together with the European International Constructor (Eic), launched a Task Force that will start operating next Friday. Its terms of reference are the “regular monitoring on how conflict impacts the construction industry” (including individual initiatives by companies, as well as national initiatives and measures), “the definition of how can FIEC assist CBU and other national federations”, and finally the providing of a "coordinated approach among member federations through requests to the policy makers”.

Some urban centers devastated by aerial bombardment, missiles and artillery pieces where hostilities already seems to have ended want to start reconstructing the essential infrastructures to encourage some of the more than five million Ukrainians forced by the conflict to flee to move back. That’s why, for example, FIEC is in touch with a delegation from the city of Irpin, which provided them with a list of buildings, among which schools, museum and educational centers, that should be rebuild as a priority, in order to make them operative before winter.

Campogrande warned how starting with the reconstruction before the war ends is “quite complicated”, not only for a security reason, but also from the financing perspective.“It is still not clear, even at a EU level, how these funds will be mobilized and distributed”, said Campogrande, emphasize that the EU Commission is actually working on the guidelines for specific public procurements dedicated to the reconstruction of Ukraine. At the same time, in order to get more direct support, Ukrainians are carrying on different channels to create bilateral contacts with European cities, enterprises and associations for twinnings and partnerships. “The problem - stressed Campogrande - is that if there is no coordination, it could not be clear which are the needs anymore” and that’s why “with our Task Force we want to try to be a reference point both for European enterprises that want to participate, and for Ukrainian associations or authorities that are looking for contacts with the companies” through FIEC communication channel.

According to Campogrande, Ukrainian see this future phase not just as a mere process of reconstruction of the infrastructures, but more like an “opportunity” for a new starting point to get closer to European standards, especially after the announcing of the granting to Ukraine of the EU candidate status. To be able, though, to apply European regulations on architecture, design, construction, energy efficiency, etc., Ukrainians need to go through a stage of proper capacity building, getting consulting and advice, so one of the FIEC’s task force objective is to be extended to other European associations of the sectors such as engineers, architects and material producers, so to enable them to also provide formation on various levels, besides the construction.

While it is not possible to give an exact estimation of the amount needed to rebuild Ukraine until the conflict is over, Campogrande reminded that the big so far unanswered question mark is: “who is going to finance this works?”. Today the Ukrainian prime minister, Denys Shmyhal, said that to this day “Ukraine needs $ 750 billion, with most of these funds coming from frozen Russian assets.” The discussions about how to deal with reconstruction of Ukraine are ongoing in the EU, and these days also in Lugano among political leaders and “business men”, but soon it will be necessary to outline the general strategy that will give shape to this sort of Marshall Plan to help Ukraine lifting up after the war.