EuropeOn shares its feedback and perspective at several conferences and events

March was marked by several speaking opportunities for the European association of electrical contractors. Here is a selection:

  • On 9 March, EuropeOn General Secretary Julie Beaufils moderated one of the panel discussions of the Solar Power Summit, the biggest annual event of the solar industry in Brussels. 2022 was a record year for solar installations in Europe, but the ambition is even higher for 2023 and the following years, putting a strain on the workers and the skills needed in the near future. Panelists included Santina Bertulessi (from the cabinet of EU Commissioner for Skills, that EuropeOn met last year already), Judith Kirton-Darlin (Deputy General Secretary of IndustriAll Europe) who shared insightful comments on their latest series of case studies for a just transition, and Martin Hackl (Global Director Business Unit Solar Energy at Fronius).
  • On 16 March, Julie Beaufils was also invited at an exchange hosted by the Scottish Government and Construction Leadership Forum (CLF), which includes our Scottish member SELECT. Held online, it brought together members of the Forum, different teams from the Scottish Government, and international representatives from across the European sector. Knowledge sharing was the main purpose of the event, with Scottish stakeholders presenting their experiences of modernising the sector, the Construction Accord and net zero, before opening the floor to European counterparts to hear about best practices, emerging trends and challenges in international markets related to the green and digital transition. Main takeaways are available on the CLF website.
  • Then, on 21 March, it was EVision, Eurelectric’s event on e-mobility. Taking place in the stunning Autoworld museum in Brussels, it was another occasion to discuss jobs and skills needs. This time focused on e-mobility, we reiterated, along with panelists Céline Domecq (Head of Volvo Cars EU office & Chairwoman of the Platform for electromobility) and Lucie Mattera (Secretary General of Charge Up Europe) the key (and encouraging) findings of the study conducted by BCG last year on job creation in this market. Indeed, transport electrification brings many new and attractive reasons to join the electrical trade. Our Board member Emma Elheim Karlsson will certainly not disagree (see other news). EVision was very timely as it was followed by good news for e-mobility policy at European level. Indeed, Member States finally approved the sales ban of carbon-emitting cars and vans as of 2035. Furthermore, a deal was found on the revision of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR).
  • EuropeOn was also invited on 27 March to the EU office of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung think tank. Various topics were discussed, including the brand-new Net Zero Industrial act (NZIA), the revision of the Electricity Market Design and of course skills. Skills actually form the third (out of four) pillar of the NZIA. The Commission proposes to set up, in cooperation with governments, specialised European Skills Academies, each focusing on a net-zero technology. It also foresees the creation of a Net-Zero Europe Platform, comprised of representatives of the Commission and all Member States, which should monitor and support the above-mentioned academies, including by forecasting the demand and supply of workers. This seems well aligned with EuropeOn’s call for a skills gap assessment in the Fit for 55 Package. More on the NZIA here.