Local and regional authorities should be key partners for promoting greater resource efficiency in the building sector due to their competences in terms of public procurement, the implementation of EU and national legislation on buildings, supporting local business and providing information to both investors and the public at large. Within this context, the rapporteur supports the European Commission’s efforts to develop common European standards for resource efficiency in the building sector and expresses the CoR’s intent to be fully involved. In his opinion, President Borboly underlines a number of fundamental problems including the disposal of potentially recyclable construction and demolition waste as well as a lack of incentives for clients, contractors and developers in the construction sector.  He also points out that the materials and energy used to generate electrical units and energy must be taken into account when calculating a building’s sustainability. To conclude, the rapporteur proposes that special attention is given to the specific problems of rural regions and small and medium-sized towns and that the Smart Cities research priority area in Horizon 2020 should be renamed Smart Cities and Regions and complemented by a new priority area entitled Smart Rural Regions and Towns.

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