Policy recommendations for a Mediterranean building renovation programme

A Renovation Wave input by the Efficient Buildings Community

Why is a better policy framework for building-related policies in the Mediterranean Member States needed?

The European Green New Deal, issued by the Commission last December, and the recovery plans in response to Covid-19 are an opportunity to trigger a wide-scale renovation wave coupled with decarbonised supply. They will ensure a rapid and sustainable economic recovery while bringing numerous long-term benefits for people and climate. Moreover, building renovation should be a priority in the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027.

In view of the expected policy measures and considering the failure of Southern Member States to meet the yearly 3% energy renovation rate, the Mediterranean stakeholders of the Efficient Buildings Community call for a stronger vision for building-related policies, a proper „Mediterranean efficient buildings action programme“. Policy-makers need to acknowledge that energy efficiency in the Mediterranean countries relies on other parameters than in the rest of the EU. There are important differences with other Member States on the way we build, on energy needs (particularly in heating and cooling), economic power and constraints. As a matter of fact, deep renovation means longer paybacks. In MED Countries this usually extends to 15 to 35 years. Cooling, contrary to heating, is critical and essential in this part of Europe.  In order to create dynamics around energy efficiency, the very specific cultural background needs to be taken into account. For policy design, this means that there cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach. Euro-Mediterranean issues need to be streamlined in the whole policy approach for energy-efficient buildings in the MED area.

Buoyed by their on-the-ground experiences, especially with school buildings, the public and private stakeholders of the Efficient Buildings Community ask EU decision-makers, EU programme managing authorities and national public authorities in Member States to take into account eight recommendations focused on public buildings. The overriding precondition for this to happen is a strong political will from decision-makers to implement and enforce laws and regulations.

Key messages from the Interreg MED Efficient Buildings Community

For European policy-makers

  1. Monitor the transposition and implementation of the buildings related EU Directives (EPBD, EED and RED) to effectively identify synergies and barriers
  2. Adapt financial rules and dedicate funding tailored to the Mediterranean area
  3. Foster harmonisation of EU-wide standards while designing differentiated policies

For National policy-makers in Mediterranean countries[1]

  1. Coordinate building renovation objectives in all strategies through a multi-governance approach
  2. Improve the organisational readiness for the evaluation and benchmarking of public building performance
  3. Improve national training and qualification strategies for the energy performance of buildings
  4. Facilitate access of local and regional authorities to public money
  5. Speed up the use of Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) schemes to finance public building renovation

[1] These recommendations are the result of 4 national policy debates organised in Italy, Spain, Greece and Bosnia and Herzegovina. They also take into account the bottlenecks and solutions that have been identified and developed in the framework of the 11 projects of the Interreg MED Efficient Buildings Community. Two policy papers provide a detailed analysis (on financing, on awareness and capacity-building).

The EB Community currently consists of 89 institutions that are involved in EU-funded Interreg MED projects. Additionally, 119 partners have joined the community to scale up solutions and improve the European public building stock.



Publication date


Policy recommendations

See detailed policy brief

Efficient Buildings Community

Click here to discover the projects behind