Luisa Todini is FIEC President since June 2010. She is the daughter of late Eng. Franco Todini, owner of Todini Costruzioni Generali, knighted with the title of Cavaliere del Lavoro. Luisa Todini began her career in 1985 in the family company. She worked initially in the human resources department and later headed the in-house law department. Between 1994 and 1999 she was a Member of the European Parliament and from 1999 until 2005 she chaired Todini Costruzioni Generali.
Todini currently chairs the holding company Todini Finanziaria. She is also chair of the Leonardo Italian Quality Committee, Vice-President of Italian Industry Promotion Agency headed by the Ministry of Economic Development, co-chair of the Italian-Russian discussion forum.
Todini has won many awards, including the Mela d’Oro prize for entrepreneurial achievements, and the Gold Brick award bestowed in the sphere of real estate for the best infrastructure project given personally by the Mayor of Rome. She actively contributes to several charitable foundations, including the Vanaprastha Community, which helps abandoned children in India. Todini participates in the James will not die Foundation which assists the poor in Ethiopia. Her father’s company, which today is one of the largest companies in Europe, has started with only one person – Franco Todini and got its first registration in 1965 on the Italian National Construction Roll. In 1970 the company’s turnover exceeded already 50 million euro and the owner decided to move its headquarters from Perugia to Rome. Activities, concentrated firstly within Italy, began to extend at the end of the 80s on the international field, expanding interests towards Eastern Europe countries, North Africa and South America. Thus the company reached a production value of nearly 500 million euro and a backlog of about 1 billion euro. In March 1999
Todini Costruzioni Generali Spa obtained certification for its Quality Management System in compliance with standard UNI EN ISO 9001 and in July 2008 certification for its Environmental Management System in compliance with standard UNI EN ISO 14001.
Today the company carries out large infrastructure projects in fields such as roads, railways and airports. It has activities also in the field of hydraulic and hydroelectric works, shipbuilding and projects in the field of national consolidation defense, civil and industrial construction operating moreover in the real estate and concessions.
60% of the company shares are held by Salini Costruttori, while the remaining 40% – by Todini Finanziaria.
Miss Todini, first let me ask you did you enjoy Bulgaria, did you have some time to see Sofia?
I already know Sofia. I was here several times and it is always nice to be here. There are beautiful monuments. You are the 50 in the graduation of UNESCO for the important cultural sights. FIEC will also be in Plovdiv and when I met Prime Minister Boyko Borisov he showed me all the ancient beauty of your city from the window of his office in the Council of Ministers. It is very nice to be here.
You said that you, the BCC Chairman Eng. Svetoslav Glosov and Executive Director Eng. Ivan Boykov met with Prime Minister Borisov and Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Rosen Plevneliev during the congress of FIEC. What did you talk about?
We had the chance to meet the Prime Minister for several minutes because he was leaving for a trip with the government but it was important that for the first time FIEC is here in Bulgaria, we share the worry about third countries state-owned and state-aided enterprises in Europe that act without a fair competition and we decided to ask together EC to put the right investments for the Trans-European network. Both we share the view that money put in transportation is an investment for the medium long term.
What are the important decisions which the European Commission has to take about the third countries?
They have to verify what’s happening with the third country, especially with the state-owned companies. I mean the companies which receive aid from the states which is not possible to exist in Europe. They participate in tenders and they win tenders with an unfair competition making a dumping. They have to be aware about this and we have to make them respect the rules. We all – the contractors, work all around the world and we can not be protectionists. If we accept companies outside Europe working in Europe, they have to respect the rules. If we go outside, we do respect the rules.
But not all of the third country markets are open for European builders.
If we are open, they have to be open, if we have rules – they have to respect the rules. If we go outside we respect the rules. This is very simple, it seems to be but we have to make them respect the commission, especially commission Bernie, commission of the internal market. Sometimes we really feel alone as entrepreneurs but if you are Europeans, the European commission has to work for us.
What were the other themes you discussed during the congress?
About the energy efficiency even in buildings in a period of financial crisis when you understand that the solution for construction is even to invest in efficient buildings and eco buildings and of course on the top of everything is the financing. We are fighting to have more PPP projects – public and private partnership. We are ready to put equity on the project but we need equity from the states, federal states, national states and the European Commission and especially to go ahead with the thirty priority Trans-European network. Bulgaria is very interested in it, the budget is thirty billion. We have to know how much we have in this thirty billion in our valiant time.
Bulgaria is very strategic country to link the new Europe with old Europe. This is the importance of Bulgaria for the Trans-European network passing thru Bulgaria. As your Prime Minister knows the structural fund is very important in this moment but the project and the money from Europe comes if there is national program and national money to put in so they work together.
What are the decisions you will take after the congress?
There are no conclusions, there are proposals. We are asking something very strict and very clear the Commission such as protection against dumping and so on. More than a conclusion – there is assumption that we are here in Bulgaria, which is even a political sense to be here – in an east important new country for Europe. This is a new start for the new financial year.
How does the national policy make the building sector go out of the crisis soon?
To push with the PPP. In this moment it can be very important for the public. I think all over Europe there are bureaucratic problems. In a moment of crisis we have to cut the rules that we don’t need, we have to simplify bureaucracy, this is important even for Bulgaria.
What is the BCC role in FIEC activities?
They have been very busy and participated actively in a number of working groups, commissions and sub-commissions. This is very important because our goal is the national federation to be very active so this is the first time for us in Bulgaria but I hope it is not the last.