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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Construction sector

The construction industry is very important to the EU economy. The sector provides 18 million direct jobs and contributes to about 9% of the EU's GDP. It also creates new jobs, drives economic growth, and provides solutions for social, climate and energy challenges. The goal of the European Commission is to help the sector become more competitive, resource efficient and sustainable.

Challenges faced by the construction industry

The construction sector has been hit particularly hard by the financial and economic crisis. The main challenges facing construction are

  • Stimulating demand: Efficiency improvements in existing buildings and renovations have the highest potential to stimulate demand.
  • Training: Improving specialised training and making the sector more attractive, in particular for blue-collar workers, technical colleges and universities.
  • Innovation: More active uptake of new technologies.
  • Energy efficiency and climate change: Buildings account for the largest share of total EU final energy consumption (40%) and produce about 35% of all greenhouse emissions.

What the Commission does

The objectives of the European Commission is to help the construction sector meet challenges by

Construction and jobs

Up to 95% of construction, architecture, and civil engineering firms are micro-enterprises or small and medium-sized enterprise (SMES). Initiatives in EU countries on energy efficiency have a significant potential for job creation in this sector.

Another approach used to create jobs is the promotion of apprenticeships in the construction industry.

Construction and other sectors

As a major consumer of services and intermediate products such as raw materials, chemicals or electrical equipment, construction impacts many other economic sectors.

More information