28th May 2019
The spring 2019 General Assembly of the European Boating Association was held on Malta on the 5 and 6 April 2019. Twenty Members Organisations were represented at the meeting.
The General Assembly approved two applications for full Membership of the EBA and welcomed the Belgian organisation Fédération Francophone du Yachting Belge and the Dutch organisation Landelijke Vereniging tot Behoud van het Historisch Bedrijfsvaartuig to the EBA.
The General Assembly formally approved the final audited accounts for 2018. As the EBA website is critical for the exchange of information between the Executive Committee, the Secretariat and the Members, the General Assembly also decided that the EBA should invest in a new website in 2019.
An evaluation of the EBA Strategic Plan for the 2015-2018 quadrennial was reviewed by the General Assembly. This can be viewed on the EBA website. The General Assembly also adopted a Strategic Plan for the 2019-2022 quadrennial. The EBA Strategic Plan is produced on a 4 year basis to align with the term of office of the EBA President.
The potential impact of autonomous shipping was considered by the General Assembly and it was agreed that the EBA should agree and publish a position, as the safety of recreational boaters should not be impacted by the emergence of autonomous ships.
The EBA’s Spanish member briefed the General Assembly about its concern regarding forthcoming legislation which was set to make it necessary for boats in Spain (possibly including foreign flagged vessels) to have equipment approved in Spain (rather than just approved for the EU).
The Boating Accidents Focus Group reported on its first meeting at which the availability and accuracy of accident data in France and the Netherlands had been considered. It was agreed that the focus group should continue its work.
The General Assembly received information on an issue relating to biocides, particularly copper, leaching from boat hulls in German inland waters and the German Authorities’ plans to take steps to reduce the biocide release. Initially boaters were being encouraged to act on a voluntary basis but the authorities had indicated that bans would be introduced if the voluntary approach was unsuccessful.
The EBA continued to consider the way modern lifestyles are changing the way people own and use recreational craft and how boating clubs and facilities will need to adapt in the future. The EBA’s Spanish member, Asociación de Navegantes de Recreo gave an interesting presentation on their experience and their approach for the future. The General Assembly decided to continue discussing the subject and sharing experiences, noting that although they now had a broader understanding of the changes that were occurring, Members still needed to find ways to make sure clubs were aware of and could adapt to the potential problems.
Updates on other subjects of interest were received by the General Assembly. These included the Port Waste reception Directive, developments surrounding End of Life Boats and the impact of Brexit on European boaters. The General Assembly also received reports on the various international meetings (e.g. IMO, World Sailing, UNECE & CESNI) that had been attended in the preceding 6 months.
Information on the work of the EBA is available on the EBA website and the criteria and cost of membership, for potential new members is available on the EBA website.
Next EBA General Assembly meeting: 18 – 19 October 2019, Lorient, France.