At the first General Assembly of the year, on 26 January, EBI met with its members to discuss the key aspects of 2020 and laid out the plans for the coming year. Two new sustaining members were welcomed – TransEurope Marinas and EMCI Register – further increasing EBI’s position as the voice of the European recreational boating industry.
The General Assembly, held online, discussed the successful progress made in the past year, which saw EBI take a leading role in its outreach to the EU institutions with dozens of meetings with Members of the European Parliament and the European Commission at highest political level. Besides informing the industry and advocating for its key issues regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, EBI was active on a number of policy areas forthe industry. This includes the Recreational Craft Directive, which is currently being reviewed, international trade policy, EU tourism policy, end-of-life boats, decarbonisation, the EU Healthy Ocean Mission, funding opportunities and other issues that impact the boating industry.
The General Assembly unanimously approved the applications of two new sustaining members: EMCI Register and TransEurope Marinas. Sustaining members benefit from EBI’s extensive network and participate in its activities. They also gain access to a broad base of expertise and support for their own activities.
EMCI Register is a young and dynamic RCD notified body. Staffed by a young and ambitious team, its focus is on using software and digital innovation to make the certification process more efficient without skimping on quality. EMCI Register does this by employing an in-house software team that focuses on optimizing the administrative processes of a notified body, maximizing efficiency.
TransEurope Marinas is an association of over 80 select European marinas across 11 different countries, where the majority fly the Blue Flag or hold another certification (Blue Stars, Gold Anchors or Ports Propres) in recognition of proficient environmental management. The principle aims of the group are to share good practice throughout the international community and promote responsible and sustainable boating. Member marinas are currently implementing a first phase of digital transformation, connecting all destinations via an online platform, and offering improved services to boaters. TransEurope Marinas managers are also active in PIANC working groups, endorsing the Working with Nature concept to help design better services in marinas.
After the General Assembly, EBI President Jean-Pierre Goudant commented: “We are proud of having successfully brought our key messages into the work of the EU institutions on the issues that count for our industry. The recreational boating sector is seen as a trusted partner on key topics and we look forward to building on this in 2021. As EBI, we are also delighted to further grow our membership and welcome two new sustaining members. EMCI Register and TransEurope Marinas offer very important perspectives that we look forward to bringing into our work.”
Following the approval as sustaining member of EBI, Chairman of EMCI Register Giel Tettelaar commented: “EMCI Register is excited to join EBI and to work together with the other members to represent the recreational craft sector on the European stage. We are not interested in sitting on the side lines and we look forward to actively assisting EBI in its activities to assist the sector.”
On being accepted as sustaining member of EBI, Melanie Symes from TransEurope Marinas said: “We have been tremendously impressed with EBI’s trajectory over the last year, showing leadership in addressing current industry concerns and making significant progress towards representing nautical tourism interests at government level. As an international marine network, TransEurope Marinas is firmly in favour of collaborative alliances that help grow this sector in line with sustainable values. We very much look forward to working with Philip and the team.”