EU Buildings Directive: Germany signals readiness to stop tighter standards

EU Buildings Directive: Germany signals readiness to stop tighter standards |

German ministers have stepped up their criticism of proposed EU building regulations, as Housing Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD/S&D) made clear her opposition to mandatory renovations after Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP/Renew) made similar comments.

EU governments are currently negotiating a revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) with the European Parliament, which would include mandatory renovations for buildings with the worst energy performance.

Senior cabinet members of the German coalition have repeatedly expressed their concern about the reform.

“I say no to minimum standards for every house without consideration for who lives in it, who owns it, and how long it may still be used,” Geywitz told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung in an interview published on Saturday, adding that renovation is a “massive effort that we cannot impose with legislation”.

“I’m therefore critical of tighter regulation as proposed by the EU parliament,” Geywitz added.

Her comments indicated once more that the German government is prepared to stop the directive in its current shape.

Germany’s three-way coalition cut a deal to withdraw support for the directive’s minimum energy performance standards clause in an attempt to appease the pro-market FDP amidst a row over heating systems.

Geywitz, a close ally of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), had already questioned the constitutionality of the mandatory renovations in March. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Lindner, leader of the FDP, said last week that he considered the directive “dangerous (…) also with regard to social peace”.

The German government is currently targeting excessive regulation and red tape in response to growing economic pressure, as a series of shocks and pessimistic forecasts have soured the business climate.

In the wake of the proclaimed fight against red tape, Brussels is increasingly becoming a target.

FDP officials in particular and ministers such as Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) have blamed EU regulation for stifling the economy, as they criticised that the majority of regulations in Germany were allegedly imposed by Brussels.

(Nick Alipour |

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