EFCI General Meetings 2023: delegates from the European cleaning industry come together

President Lorenzo Mattioli opened  the meeting of the Board of Directors on May 30 with an overview of the past year and highlighted the importance of EFCI’s work for the industry. He stepped forward with a proposal to discuss the objectives, strategy and challenges to shape the year to come.

The approach of General Meetings 2023 was not solely focused on EFCI’s strategic development avenues, but rather looking from the overall perspective of how the EU regulation impacts the industry. It was a great occasion to engage with policymakers and open the discussion at the European level.

EFCI was very grateful to MEP Carlo Fidanza, from the group of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) for hosting the participants of the General Assembly in the European Parliament on the first day of General Meetings 2023 for a great exchange on the political priorities for the cleaning industry and the current state of EU policy agenda. ‘We are open for a dialogue with the industry stakeholders. We acknowledge the need to address the many challenges the industry is going through due to growing reporting duties – gender pay gap, corporate due diligence, sustainability with a pragmatic approach and a wider involvement of business community and associations,’ said Mr. Fidanza. EFCI delegates had an opportunity to express most pressing challenges in the industry such as public procurement provisions, sustainability and the attractiveness of the sector.

EFCI General Assembly delegates meet MEP Carlo Fidanza at the European Parliament
EFCI in 2023 and beyond

EFCI Director General Matteo Matarazzo presented last year’s developments as well as the organisation’s plans for the year ahead. Special emphasis was placed on EFCI policy work and on members network, which EFCI will continue to leverage to ensure the voice of the industry is heard in Brussels.

Public procurement, daytime cleaning, but also an overview of national regulations were the topics of this year’s discussion among the members and the Board. EFCI members had an opportunity to present main developments and concerns in the industry at national level during the discussion.

On the second meeting day, EFCI  welcomed the Head of Unit of Public Procurement Unit, Mr. Jean-Yves Muylle, from the DG GROW department of the European Commission to discuss how  public procurement provisions are set at national level, and how EU legislation should be revised to help face them.

‘A dialogue with the industry is essential for public procurement to drive the market and foster innovation […] We would like to avoid the impression so prevalent in our society that public procurement is a heavy admin procedure; on the contrary, public procurement should pave the way for all other procurement models and approaches,’ stated Mr. Muylle.

Mr. Jean-Yves Muylle from the European Commission joined EFCI General Assembly 2023

The exchange also offered the opportunity to present in an informal context the specificities of how public procurement rules impact on the provision of services compared to the purchase of goods or the realisation of public works. While the negative impact of the predominance of the price criterion is a common feature for all fields of public spending, the higher bearing of labour costs for the cleaning industry marks a distinctive trait that worsens the effect of price competition. This is why intervening on the common European provisions on public procurement to exclude specific clauses (like the ban on price revision) would harmonise national legislation, create more uniform market opportunities and make public procurement attractive again.

EFCI General Meetings concluded with a lively discussion on future plans and events for the year. Stay tuned!