Representatives of ASEAN Member States, the European Commission and the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), experts from EU Member States and the Western Balkans, and other relevant stakeholders related to national building and construction codes came together for the “EU-ASEAN Dialogue on Eurocodes: Introductory Workshop on Eurocodes Awareness.” This workshop was carried out in the framework of the Enhanced Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (E-READI).
Lukas Gajdos, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to ASEAN opened the workshop highlighting the relevance of partnership for building and design codes in the regional cooperation context, followed by welcome addresses by Artur Pinto from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), Chin Kesar, Chair of ASEAN Buildings and Construction Working Group (BCWG) and Fulvia Raffaelli from the European Commission DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.
The workshop was the introductory meeting between the EU and ASEAN, with the aim to initiate the collaboration between the regions on the Eurocodes: a series of European Standards that provides a common approach for the structural design of buildings, bridges and other civil engineering works and construction products. Standardisation of structural design for such construction projects would enhance safety, resilience and sustainability for the built environment and provide the highest level of quality in services and products for citizens.
Through a multi-annual concept note, the EU-ASEAN Eurocodes Dialogue aims to bring a cohesive approach to the understanding and adoption of these design standards across the ASEAN Member States. As ASEAN Member States are at various stages of awareness regarding Eurocodes and their concepts, the workshop offers a platform to exchange relevant technical information between the EU and ASEAN Member States. This knowledge exchange on technical standards and construction products will facilitate the trade of goods and services in the construction sector. This will in turn contribute to the ASEAN integration, the success of the business sector, and the construction of climate-resilient cities.
Pavlina Karagianni from CEN and Professor Paolo Formichi explained the European standardisation system, the organisation of the Technical Committee responsible for drafting and maintaining the Eurocodes and their concepts and benefits of use. Experts from EU Member States and EU neighbouring countries presented their experience and recommendations on the way forward of Eurocodes adoption. Case studies detailed best practice examples such as the successful implementation of the Eurocodes in the Netherlands and the success stories in non-EU Balkan countries, in particular Bosnia and Herzegovina. Singapore presented their national construction codes, as well as their experience and status on Eurocodes’ adoption, emphasising the importance of cooperation within ASEAN. The event continued with further recommendations for the way forward for non-EU countries such as those of the ASEAN region, with a highlight on local training and awareness-raising campaigns targeted to National Authorities and National Standards Bodies (NSBs). Moreover, a practical update on the status of the E-READI Eurocodes Study was presented, including required actions and timelines for outputs, the immediate next step being a follow-up workshop on 24 June open to ASEAN Member States who have expressed interest in bilateral exchanges with EU experts.
The needs for alignment of national legislation and standardisation framework were successfully identified as well as details on ASEAN Member States support areas in order to adopt the Eurocodes and their concepts. Further actions were agreed upon such as technical workshops and training sessions through additional E-READI dialogue events and cooperation modalities such as communication networks.
Closing remarks from Silvia Dimova emphasised JRC’s 15 years of experience in assisting nations in adopting the Eurocodes through education and professional development, being especially proud of the non-EU Balkan countries’ case and hoping the same success to be applied to ASEAN Member States. Chin Kesar concluded the event by noting that sharing of information will be very important for the upcoming BCWG working group meetings in which the adoption of Eurocodes can be considered.
The discussion of standardised construction codes can be integrated into various applicable fields and is therefore applicable to the wide variety of attendees of the workshop: national authorities, standardisation bodies, academic institutions and engineers. A comprehensive system of standards in the construction sector will ensure the safety, high standard and environmentally aware construction across the ASEAN region.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established on 8 August 1967. The ASEAN Member States are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. On 31 December 2015, the ASEAN Community was formally established. The ASEAN Secretariat is based in Jakarta.
The European Union (EU) is the economic and political union of 27 Member States. Together, the EU has built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development while maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedom. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for advancing the goals of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe. The EU is the world's largest trading bloc, and the world's largest source and destination of foreign direct investment. Collectively, the EU and its member countries are the largest donors of Official Development Assistance (ODA), providing more than half of ODA globally.
The 27 EU Member States (in alphabetical order) are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
The Enhanced Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (E-READI) is a development cooperation programme that facilitates cooperation and dialogue between the EU and ASEAN in policy areas of joint interest. Drawing on the EU’s experience of regional integration, E-READI further strengthens both the ASEAN regional integration process as well as the overall ASEAN-EU strategic partnership.