5th December 2016
The autumn 2016 General Assembly of the European Boating Association was held at the Sparte Tourismus- und Freizeitwirtschaft, Vienna, Austria on the 21 and 22 October 2016. 18 Members were represented at the meeting.
The General Assembly received a presentation from the EU Commission on its Nautical Tourism study and strategy. The presentation and subsequent discussion covered the following subjects:
- Skippers’ licences
- Boat recycling
- Development of marinas and boating activities
- Local & regional development around marinas
- Combined nautical and coastal tourism products
- On-board safety equipment incl. potential for satellite applications
After considerable discussion on each of the topics, the EU Commission representative requested a summary of the main points made by EBA members for further consideration.
The General Assembly agreed the membership fees and budget for 2017 and it approved position statements on aquaculture and alternatives to flares. Both position statements are available on the EBA website.
An EBA position statement on lifejackets was discussed and the following agreed EBA recommendation was agreed: “The EBA recommends that everyone on board a recreational craft has an appropriate personal floatation device. Anyone on board a recreational craft may wear a personal floatation device whenever they choose and should wear one when instructed to do so by the skipper.”
Invasive Alien Species and the impact they are having on recreational boating were discussed. This was followed by a debate concerning the implementation at national level of the EU Regulation on the making available and use of biocidal products. National implementation in Sweden and Germany was of great concern to members and the General Assembly implemented its agreed process for setting up a working group to lead within the EBA on the subject.
The General Assembly received update reports from the Secretariat on International Standards Organisation (ISO) Technical Committees (TC) 228 and from the President on the presentations he was preparing to give at the November 2016 ICOMIA Marinas Conference and the Sustainability in the Marine Industry Conference (also November 2016). Reports and recommendations were also received from the EBA Communities of Common Interest (Baltic, Inland, Mediterranean and NE Atlantic and the North Sea).
A new document, intended to address the concern that had been previously identified that there was a trend towards decline in “organised” watersports was received and as a result an EBA guidance document was agreed. Members also gave updates on predictions relating to the development of recreational boating and activities that had taken place during the year to promote participation in watersports.
A new document had been prepared to provide information, about the work of the EBA and the criteria and cost of membership, for potential new members. This document has been published on the EBA website.
Next EBA General Assembly meeting: 28-29 April 2017, Palma, Mallorca, Spain