European Federation of Foundation Contractors

Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Germany, Bauer JV Lehrter

Serge Borel appointed President of the EFFC

Firstly, I would like to thank Andreas Körbler for his actions as President. It has been difficult the past few years due to the pandemic, and nothing happened as anticipated, but he succeeded to maintain the EFFC’s activities. Andreas modernised the way we work and developed the EFFC’s strategy for the next 5 years.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the EFFC for confirming me as the President, I am very honored. I can see what has been achieved by my predecessors; it will be an inspiration for me. It’s a privilege to continue this route and add a new step to that story.

My name is Serge Borel and I have worked for Soletanche Bachy for nearly 20 years. I worked in Russia, the UK and France. Currently, I am the Executive Vice President and I have the particular responsibility of the Technical Dept. Four years ago, I joined EFFC Officers when José Candela was President.

The program is clear: 10 key points to focus as part of the EFFC strategy.

  1. Health & Safety
  2. Sustainability
  3. Digitalisation
  4. Covid Recovery
  5. Quality
  6. Working Platforms
  7. Rig Operator recognition scheme
  8. Early Careers Group (ECGs)
  9. Communication
  10. Development of Associate Member Relationships

I would like particularly to insist on the last 3 points:

  • The new generation is the future of our sector. We shall develop the appropriate actions to prove to them that Foundation Contractors are an attractive place to work and develop a carrier.
  • This is not only about using webinars to reach more people. We are all the ambassadors of the EFFC in our National Federations and our companies.
  • Associate Members. At our AGM we had an interactive session with 4 of them on topics that are developed within our working groups. This is a perfect opportunity to engage the stakeholders on these issues.

As a principle of action, I would like to take what I see as the particularity of geotechnical contractors – what make us special and ask everyone in the EFFC to support our work: Be pragmatic, Deliver, Focus on people.

Be Pragmatic.

Our position at EFFC: a Federation of Federations of contractors. We can’t be everywhere, change everything. But we need to concentrate on our particular position: and add value because we are addressing initiatives and issues by bringing a European perspective, not just a national one.

In line with Andreas, I will strive to work with local federations and improve communication between them and the EFFC. So, we connect the national WG with EFFC WG. Do not duplicate effort but coordinate and ensure the EFFC is complementary to what can be achieved at National Level.

Standardisation is also where we can make the difference coordinating our positions within the so many National and European committees to ensure a contractor perspective is present within them.


The EFFC guides are a strong example of the impact we can make on the profession. Similarly the carbon calculator as a tool provides a pragmatic means to address a defining issue of our time.

I would like us to focus on going to the end of our projects with deliverables that are known and deployed.

Focus on people.

At the end, this is all about people. For most of us, EFFC is a job where we volunteer. We appreciate the networking, the time spent together, and this brings new ways of thinking, new horizons, new friends.

The pandemic was a crisis that forced us and our companies to reinvent how we work. Unfortunately, this crisis is not over.  The war in Ukraine is leading to energy shortages and inflation. This is hitting our industry in many ways, but it is also a strong driver for change.

We are convinced that Civil and Geotechnical Engineering, the infrastructure we build and maintain are essential for living. We are proud to be Foundation Contractors within the EFFC and are a vital part of the solution to the challenges Europe faces!

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