The first CEPI General Assembly face-to-face meetings in two years took place in Bulgaria. CEPI was established in Brussels in 1990 as an international non-profit organisation. Its members are national associations based in Europe representing estate agents and property managers. The mission of the association is to support European and cross-border real estate transactions by developing the work and activities of real estate professionals with the interests of the consumer in mind.
The General Assembly’s three-day session included a Conference of the Real Estate Association (NREA) to mark the organisations 30th anniversary. Both Irish SCSI delegates, Edward Mc Auley and Ed Carey participated on separate international discussion panels on the topic of regulation of agents and anti-money laundering, respectively. Eastern European countries such as Bulgaria and Romania are having discussions between their national authorities and local property associations to introduce statutory regulations to improve standards and professionalise their sector. The Irish regulatory model is viewed as ‘an exemplar’ and a similar model to promote locally for statutory regulation.
High construction costs, viability challenges facing the renovation and supply of new buildings coupled with a supply shortage of building materials was similar theme from the afternoon sessions. High inflation generally is creating significant issues within the construction and property sector. High housing demand and low supply is creating housing issues across most countries on the continent. The solutions to address viability issues among EU countries is still unclear with no obvious solution identified to tackle low housing output in an environment of high inflation. The engaging panel discussion and debate is likely to continue at CEPI’s next round of online meetings in September and face-to-face meetings due to take place at Dublin in November. The exchange of views and experiences felt from the various CEPI delegations aims to provide a harmonised and single message to officials within the EU Commission to ensure that during the discussions of budgets and allocation of funds, matters such as high inflation facing the delivery of homes is fully understood and considered.
Finally, the remaining part of the three-day session included meetings of the Policy, Communication and Education Committees. Initiatives such as influencing the direction of EU policy regarding short-term lets, the Recast of the Energy Performance Directive, was high on the policy agenda chaired by SCSI delegate Edward McAuley. The finalisation of CEPI’s initiative to promote its Eureduc programme which is a basic education programme for real estate agents and property managers. It is offered to universities, colleges, high schools and professional training institutes throughout Europe of which is offered to Technological University Dublin and Athlone Institute of Technology.
From left : Ed Carey SCSI delegate, Vittoria Marchegiani CEPI Policy Manager, Guy Valkenborg CEPI Director General, Edward McAuley SCSI delegate