From the President
Have you taken a look at our new website yet? If you haven’t already, please do and let us know what you think of it. It was high time we had a new one, and we hope it will inspire more and more professionals to become active in our Federation. An important next step will be the modernisation of our internal communications platform which will of course be closely connected to it.
Another recent new communications tool is the organisation of webinars dedicated to specific environmental topics; a few of these have now been staged very successfully under the leadership of our General Secretary Elisa Vignaga.
Meanwhile, we have worked hard throughout the summer preparing a new business plan – with Vice President Kristof De Smet, Treasurer Herman Jan Wijnants and me closely working together, together with the rest of the ExCo team of course. All this could only be done because Jason Reeves and Simon Pascoe were there as gatekeepers taking care of all the regular administrative, secretarial, communications and EC screening work that had to go on simultaneously.
Next week we will meet for a General Assembly that will elect some new ExCo members, including my successor, but some other important decisions will also be taken. We will make choices regarding ENEP’s strategy and funding for the coming years, and I truly hope that we will together be capable of reaching a wise solution to the current challenges: a solution that will allow my successors to further develop ENEP with you and that will be – albeit possibly with some
hesitation – acceptable to all. Our discussions about income and expenses may have some similarity with the debates that rage in the EU every now and then; however, we do not have a Commission apparatus that can carry out intensive lobby work to pave the way to an acceptable compromise. We will therefore have to reach that solution during the GA meeting itself. I wish all of us the wisdom, courage and restraint to make the contributions necessary to do so!
It is in a slightly melancholic mood that I write these words – this column is my final one. In 2002, VVM (of which I was the outgoing president to become EFAEP’s first Vice President), VDI (at the time represented by Rüdiger Wolfertz, the first Treasurer) and AFITE (whose Dominique Bernard became our first President) founded EFAEP. It was our goal to establish an organisation for exchanging information and knowledge regarding environmental sciences and policy from an integrated perspective, and to make a relevant impact on European environmental policies. Such an organisation did not really exist at the time; efforts to make the European Federation for Clean Air (EFCA) (of which all three were a member) integrate other aspects of the environment did not work out. We thus started something new with great enthusiasm and rapidly found other associations who joined. Since then ENEP, as we now call it, has developed into a truly European federation with members from Romania to the UK. I am very grateful for having had the opportunity to serve ENEP as a Vice President from 2002 to 2005 and as your President since then.