Julie Girling
President of the forum

During the Forum dinner debate on 18 November 2014, The new president of the European Parliament Gypsum Forum, Mrs Girling underlines the fact that a good trade-off between regulatory and non-regulatory approaches should be taken. Regulation can be the catalyst for change and over regulation could stop innovation. We should bear in mind that re-industrialization means giving the right incentives to make growth happen and this also means in some case regulation. During the next years as president of the European Parliament Gypsum Forum, Mrs. Girling will strive to get the balance right for growth in Europe.

The construction industry is a vital component of growth in Europe

The construction sector represents a strategically important sector for the European Union, providing buildings and infrastructure on which all sectors of the economy depend. The sector is significant in terms of employment and provides constructed assets representing 49.6% of the gross fixed capital formation (GFCF). The economic and employment reality is: 14 to 15 million employees in Europe with many local SMEs (3 millions companies in Europe).

The supply chain is complex and actors are many

  • Construction products manufacturers;
  • Developers;
  • Designers (architects, engineers);
  • Contractors (employers and employees);
  • Distributors of construction products;
  • Recyclers;
  • Demolishers.

Therefore a constructive dialogue between the actors and the EU and national authorities is essential to create vision and to consider in an innovative way the solutions for sustainable resources use management, sustainable design and recycling in construction together with the need to meet people requirements for health and comfort in the building. In Europe, the building stock is significant and demolition is not always the best option. Therefore, sustainable renovation will become a key policy issue to address in the years to come for enhancing the sustainability of historic buildings and architectural heritage of our cities and also responding to the needs of an ageing population in search of more comfort in the built environment.

[1] European Foundation for the Improvement of living and Working Conditions