In the EU 27, the economic and financial crisis has over the last four years caused activity in the building and infrastructures sector to fall by 17%. On 31 July 2012, the Commission adopted an EU strategy designed to sustain competitiveness in the building sector, focusing in particular on increasing the number of nearly zero-energy buildings, given their contribution to the efficient use of resources, the reduction of energy and utilities bills and the creation of new jobs. Under Directive 31/2010/EU on the energy performance of buildings, Member States are required to ensure that:
by 31 December 2020 all new buildings are nearly zero energy buildings; and
after 31 December 2018 new buildings occupied and owned by public authorities are nearly zero-energy buildings.
Given that one of the principal objectives of the EU strategy for sustainability in the building sector adopted by the Commission on 31 July 2012 is to exploit the potential of low-energy buildings to restimulate growth, can the Commission indicate what action will be taken in support of this objective in 2013 and between 2014 and 2020 with the assistance of the structural funds, the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development or other specific financial instruments?