Confederation Europeenne de l'Immobilier European Confederation of Real Estate Agents
19 Feb 2015

Euro area annual inflation down to -0.6%

Euro area annual inflation is expected to be -0.6% in January 2015, down from -0.2% in December 20143, according to a flash estimate4 from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. This negative rate for euro area annual inflation in January is driven by the fall in energy prices (-8.9%, compared with -6.3% in December). Prices are also expected to fall for food, alcohol & tobacco (-0.1%, compared with 0.0% in December) and non-energy industrial goods (-0.1%, compared with 0.0% in December). Only prices for services are expected to increase (1.0%, compared with 1.2% in December). See full report of EUROSTAT: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/2995521/6581740/2-30012015-BP-EN.pdf/d776fbcc-89b2-4bae-beb0-ad30fa709244

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25 Jan 2012

On the Road to a New European Real Estate Association

The new European Real Estate Professions Association is at the horizon. More than 200.000 real estate agents and managers will be represented in this new association.

In May 2011 CEI members, delegates from various European countries, the members of the German Association IVD and all the participants of the European Congress in Berlin witnessed the foundation of the new European Platform of CEPI and CEI as a new roof top organization of the two major real estate agents and managers associations. It was a very moving ceremony when the document was signed in presence of more than 800 real estate professionals from around Europe in Berlin.

New Platform is already active

The new platform instantly started its work. It is an active group that makes the first steps in this new European Platform. Together with Jens‐Ulrich Kießling, who is chair of the Executive Board of the new platform, the presidents of the two European associations CEPI and CEI are the leadership team in the new rooftop organization. First Timo Multanen as CEPI President and now Claudine Speltz as new CEPI President, who took over duties in January 2012, together with Manuel Negrao, President of CEI are in the leadership team.

More Power in the representation of real estate professions

"For me the power of the European platform and the efficiency in representing the interest of the real estate agents and managers in Europe is directly connected with a strong presence of our group in Brussels" said Manuel Negrao as President of CEI. "The new political platform will become the new European association for real estate professions in the next 12 months", he added. It is important to achieve a higher importance in political decisions in Brussels for all real estate agents and managers. Until now the political interests of real estate professions are considered insufficiently. This will be changed.

During the next 12 months the two Boards of CEPI and CEI will make all necessary preparations to become one association. The Executive Board is preparing all the documents, the votes and fees and all the paperwork.

All European Associations invited to participate

"The new association will be the stronger the more national associations will be part of the new association and the power of this new association will be more intense the more input we receive from the national associations", said Negrao. "We will create the future of the real estate business and the framework for the estate professions in Europe together" Manuel Negrao is convinced.

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25 Jan 2012

Small companies create 85% of new jobs

Have you ever thought about the importance of small companies for job creation and the job market in Europe? 85% of net new jobs in the EU between 2002 and 2010 were created by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). This figure is considerably higher than the 67%-share of SMEs in total employment. During this period, net employment in the EU's business economy rose substantially, by an average of 1.1 million new jobs each year. These are the main results of a study on the essential contribution of SMEs on job creation presented by the European Commission today.

Annual growth higher than in the average

With 1% annually, the employment growth for SMEs was higher than for large enterprises with 0.5%. A clear exception is the trade sector, in which employment in SMEs increased by 0.7% annually, compared to 2.2% in large enterprises. This is due to the strong increase of large trade enterprises, in particular in sales, maintenance and repair of motor vehicles.

58 % of jobs in micro-firms

Within the SME size-class, micro firms (less than 10 employees) are responsible with 58% for the highest proportion of total net employment growth in the business economy. Secondly new firms (younger than five years) are responsible for an overwhelming majority of the new jobs. New enterprises operating in business services create more than a quarter (27%) of the new jobs, while the new firms in transport and communication contribute least (6%).

SME confirming their role

Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Entrepreneurship and Industry said: "In this critical time for European economy, we see small enterprises delivering and confirming their role as main generators of new jobs. Their significant share in job creation highlights the greater than ever economic relevance of SMEs and the need to support them at all levels. The small and new enterprises are clearly the key for restoring economic growth". More information can be found on the webpage of the SME Performance Review: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/facts-figures-analysis/performance-review/index_en.htm Main effects of the crisis: smaller enterprises report negative impacts more often  According to the results of the survey, the economic crisis has left its mark on enterprises from all size-classes, with micro firms being particularly vulnerable. As a result of the 2009/2010 economic crisis the number of jobs in the SME-sector has on average decreased by 2.4% annually, as against 0.95% annually in the large enterprises sector. Employment developments are still negative in 2010, but expectations for 2011 were improving at the time the survey was held. The share of firms that expected to lay off employees in 2011 was smaller than the share of firms that actually laid off employees in 2010. Besides the employment effects, by far the most important negative effect of the crisis on firms is the overall decline of total demand for their products and services (mentioned by 62% of companies), followed by the increase in customer payment terms (mentioned by 48% of firms) and finally the shortage of working capital, which affected 31% of the respondents. Innovativeness is a weapon against the crisis Innovation seems to have a positive effect: innovative enterprises, as well as enterprises from more innovative countries, more often report employment growth and have higher employment growth rates. The survey underlines that innovative SMEs or companies operating in more innovative economies suffered less from the economic crisis. For example, while the decline in overall demand is mentioned by 70% of enterprises in countries that are considered modest innovators[1][2], the corresponding figure is 45% for countries which are innovation leaders. Job quality in SMEs The study distinguishes two broad dimensions of the job quality: employment quality and work quality. On average it is true that jobs in small enterprises are less productive, less remunerated, and less unionised than jobs in large enterprises. However, microenterprises report that they have a competitive advantage over their competitors as far as 'soft' aspects of the human resource aspects of an enterprise are concerned: working climate, work-life balance, working-time arrangements. Background The study is part of the SME Performance Review project and based on a survey of enterprises conducted at the end of 2010 and covering the 27 EU member states and 10 other countries participating in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme, namely Albania, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, and Turkey. See full Press Release of EU unter the following link: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/12/20&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en Pictures: www.fotolia.de; Website EU Commission, http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/tajani/multimedia/photo-gallery/index_en.htm

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25 Jan 2012

Business Climate Indicator improves in the euro area

The Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area increased for the first time in ten months in December 2011. The improvement in the BCI in December was mainly driven by increased optimism about production expectations, as well as by a more positive assessment of production trends observed in recent months and export order books. By contrast, managers were more pessimistic about their overall order books, and their assessments of stocks of finished products marginally increased. See full Press Release under the following link: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/12/5&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

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25 Jan 2012

EU modernises the Professional Qualifications Directive

The real estate sector is highly involved and interested in the evaluation of the Professional Qualifications Directive. In many countries in europe the real estate professions are unregulated. In other countries the profession is regulated. With the modernisation of the Professional Qualifications Directive the situation for real estate professions shall improve in many countries.

Plans of the EU Commission

As the working age population in many Member States shrinks, demand for highly skilled people between now and 2020 is projected to rise by over 16 million jobs. If Europe is to meet this demand, gaps in labour shortages need to be filled – for example through mobile and well qualified professionals from other EU Member States. They can be a key source of growth, but only if they can easily go to where jobs are and this requires their qualifications in the EU to be recognised in a fast, simple and reliable way. That is why the Commission has today adopted a proposal for modernising the Professional Qualifications Directive (Directive 2005/36/EC).

Simplyfying rules for more mobility

The proposal aims at simplifying rules for the mobility of professionals within the EU by offering a European Professional Card to all interested professions which would allow easier and faster recognition of qualifications. It also clarifies the framework for consumers, by inviting Member States to review the scope of their regulated professions and by addressing public concerns about language skills and the lack of effective alerts about professional malpractice, notably in the health sector. Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier said: "Europe is facing many challenges today. One of them will be the increase in demand for highly skilled jobs across the EU. Today's proposal on professional qualifications responds to the need to have a smooth system of recognition of qualifications in order to support the mobility of professionals across Europe. It will make it easier for well qualified professionals to go where job vacancies exist. And this will certainly prove beneficial for the growth of the European economy. I am convinced that the idea of a European professional card – an electronic certificate – is the right way forward, as it will simplify and speed up the recognition procedures for mobile professionals."

Key elements of the proposal:

1. The introduction of a European professional card will offer to interested professionals the possibility to benefit from easier and quicker recognition of their qualifications. It should also facilitate temporary mobility. The card will be made available according to the needs expressed by the professions (for example, nurses and mountain guides expressed a strong interest in using such a card). The card is associated to an optimised recognition procedure carried out within the existing Internal Market Information System (IMI) and will take the form of an electronic certificate, allowing the professional to provide services or become established in another Member State. 2. Better access to information on the recognition of professional qualifications: all citizens seeking the recognition of their professional qualifications should be able to go to a one-stop shop rather than being passed around between different government bodies. This one-stop shop should be the Points of Single Contact (PSCs), created under the Services Directive, which will allow citizens to obtain information in one place about the documents required to have their qualifications recognised and where they can also complete all online recognition procedures. 3. Updating minimum training requirements for doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, midwives, veterinary surgeons and architects: the minimum training requirements for these professions were harmonised 20 or 30 years ago. They have been updated to reflect the evolution of these professions and of education in these fields. For example, the entry level for nursing and midwifery training has been upgraded from 10 years to 12 years of general education. 4. The introduction of an alert mechanism for health professionals benefiting from automatic recognition: competent authorities of a Member State will be obliged to alert competent authorities of all other Member States about a health professional who has been prohibited from exercising his professional activity by a public authority or a court. This is particularly important because there have been examples of doctors banned from practising in their home Member State, moving abroad to work, and other Member States were not aware of it. 5. The introduction of common training frameworks and common training tests, replacing common platforms, should offer the possibility to extend the mechanism of automatic recognition to new professions. Interested professions could benefit from automatic recognition on the basis of a common set of knowledge, skills and competences or on a common test assessing the ability of professionals to pursue a profession. 6. Mutual evaluation exercise on regulated professions: a new mechanism is introduced in the Directive to ensure greater transparency and justification of the professions they regulate through a specific qualification requirement. Member States will have to provide a list of their regulated professions and justify the need for regulation. This should be followed up by a mutual evaluation exercise facilitated by the European Commission.


The Professional Qualifications Directive is essential to enabling professionals to start a new business or to find a job in another Member State requiring a specific qualification for a specific professional activity. The modernisation is one of the twelve levers for growth set out in the Single Market Act (IP/11/469). The proposal builds on a Green Paper the Commission issued in June (IP/11/767). A summary of the responses to the Green Paper has been published today as well.   More information: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/qualifications/policy_developments/index_en.htm Source: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/11/1562&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en Picture: www.fotolia.de; Website EU Commission, Reference: P-020160/00-04  Location: Brussels - EC/Berlaymont  Rapid: IP/12/11 

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23 Jan 2012

Energy Roadmap 2050 of European Commission

To achieve the goal of cutting emissions by over 80% by 2050, Europe's energy production will have to be almost carbon-free. How to achieve this without disrupting energy supplies and competitiveness is the question answered by the Energy Roadmap 2050 the Commission is presenting today. Based on the analysis of a set of scenarios, the document describes the consequences of a carbon free energy system and the policy framework needed. This should allow member states to make the required energy choices and create a stable business climate for private investment, especially until 2030.
Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger stated: "Only a new energy model will make our system secure, competitive and sustainable in the long-run. We now have a European framework for the necessary policy measures to be taken in order to secure the right investments." The analysis is based on illustrative scenarios, created by combining in different ways the four main decarbonisation routes (energy efficiency, renewables, nuclear and CCS). None is likely to materialise but all scenarios clearly show a set of "no regrets" options for the coming years. The Energy Roadmap 2050 identifies a number of elements which have positive impacts in all circumstances, and thus define some key outcomes such as:
  • Decarbonisation of the energy system is technically and economically feasible. All decarbonisation scenarios allow achieving the emission reduction target and can be less costly than current policies in the long-run.
  • Energy Efficiency and renewable energy are critical. Irrespective of the particular energy mix chosen, higher energy efficiency and important rising shares of renewables are necessary to meet the CO2 targets in 2050. The scenarios also show that electricity will play a greater role than now. Gas, oil, coal and nuclear also figure in all scenarios in different proportions, allowing Member States to keep flexible options in their energy mix provided a well connected internal market is achieved quickly.
  • Early Investments cost less. Investment decisions for the necessary infrastructure up to 2030 must be taken now, as infrastructure built 30-40 years ago needs to be replaced. Acting immediately can avoid more costly changes in twenty years. The EU's energy evolution requires anyway modernisation and much more flexible infrastructure such as cross border interconnections, "intelligent" electricity grids and modern low-carbon technologies to produce, transmit and store energy.
  • Contain the increase of prices. The investments made now will pave the way for the best prices in the future. Electricity prices are bound to raise until 2030, but can fall thereafter thanks to lower cost of supply, saving policies and improved technologies. The costs will be outweighed by the high level of sustainable investment brought into the European economy, the related local jobs, and the decreased import dependency. All scenarios get to decarbonisation with no major differences in terms of overall costs or security of supply implications.
  • Economies of scale are needed. A European approach will result in lower costs and secure supply compared to national parallel schemes. This includes a common energy market which should be completed by 2014.
Background The aim of the roadmap is to achieve the low-carbon 2050 objectives while improving Europe's competitiveness and security of supply. Member States are already planning national energy policies for the future, but it is necessary to join forces in coordinating their efforts within a broader framework. The Roadmap will be followed by further policy initiatives on specific energy policy areas in the coming years, starting with proposals on the internal market, renewable energy and nuclear safety next year. The EC published in March 2011 the overall decarbonisation roadmap covering the whole economy. All sectors – power generation, transport, residential, industry and agriculture –were analysed. The Commission has also been preparing sectoral roadmaps, among which the Energy Roadmap 2050 is the last one, focusing on the whole energy sector. Further information The Energy Roadmap 2050: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/energy2020/roadmap/index_en.htm Source: Website EU Commission Picture: www.fotolia.de

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