Successful EBI General Assembly in France concludes with new leadership team and growing membership


June 29, 2023

After a successful six months in which the association reached several milestones, European Boating Industry held its General Assembly at the headquarters of the Jeanneau Yard, where it welcomed four new members and renewed its leadership team led by incoming President Robert Marx. After many years of successful service to EBI and the entire industry, President Jean-Pierre Goudant retires from the association.

Members of European Boating Industry (EBI) gathered in-person and online for the second General Assembly of 2023 held at the Jeanneau Yard in Les Herbiers, France. It offered participants the opportunity to network, discuss the key challenges and opportunities for EBI to support the industry, as well as see the production of boats #MadeInEurope first-hand.

Several crucial decisions for the future of the association were taken, including the acceptance of three new full members and one sustaining member by unanimous decision. Joining as full members are the Ukrainian Maritime Cluster (UMC), which gathers the entire maritime sector in Ukraine, HISWA-RECRON, the Dutch association for boating and leisure companies and the Swiss Boat Builders Association (SBV) that represents the sector in Switzerland. The Yacht Harbour Association (TYHA) was welcomed as sustaining member, representing the interests of marinas in 29 countries, including the UK and a significant presence in Europe. EBI now represents a total of 22 members across 17 European countries.

The acceptance of the Ukrainian Maritime Cluster as new member was warmly welcomed and is a sign of EBI’s support for Ukraine, its maritime industry and its people in the current devastating war-time period, as well as activities being planned to cooperate on reconstruction and recovery with the boating industry at its heart.

Elections to the Council were held during the General Assembly. For the coming two years, the association will be led by Robert Marx as President (BVWW/Germany), Vice-President & Treasurer Anne-Marie Bouweraerts (Nautibel/Belgium), Vice-President Jean-Paul Chapeleau (FIN/France). The new position of Vice-Chair, supporting the President, will be held by Piero Formenti (Confindustria Nautica/Italy). Joining the Council as new members are Jordi Carrasco (ANEN/Spain) and Mirosław Hajdukiewicz (Polboat/Poland).

Leaving the association is current President Jean-Pierre Goudant, who retires from his duties having very successfully taken the helm of the association for four years after previously serving four years as Treasurer, and a grand total of over 45 years serving in industry associations. In the last years, he has led EBI’s renewal with a new strategy and increased membership. Also leaving the Council with the gratitude of EBI and the European industry are Vice-President & Treasurer Carlos Sanlorenzo (ANEN/Spain), Jurij Korenc (SMIA/Slovenia) and Christopher Scott (POLBOAT/Poland).

Robert Marx, the newly elected President of EBI, comments “I am honoured to take on this responsibility and lead EBI with my colleagues in the Council and our Secretariat at a crucial moment for our industry. EBI is growing and we are delighted to have new members joining today. We are making our voice heard in Brussels and beyond to advance the industry on the issues that count. On behalf of our industry, I sincerely thank my predecessor Jean-Pierre Goudant for his four years as President and four years as Vice-President that have been very successful for our association”.

Several activities for the next twelve months were presented at the General Assembly, which will further focus EBI on tackling the key challenges of the industry including advocacy, the sustainable transition, labour shortages and skills, and market intelligence. Returning in January 2024 after its successful launch at boot Düsseldorf 2023, is the Blue Innovation Dock that will include the latest innovations and opportunities for the sustainable transition of the sector.

Quotes of new members

Jonathan White, General Manager at The Yacht Harbour Association: “TYHA and our European members have great respect for the work and influence of EBI and we believe that working together to understand and address future challenges is essential. TYHA are therefore delighted to be invited to join the EBI membership and we look forward to working collectively to facilitate the sustainable growth of leisure boating and the worldwide marina network that underpins it.”

Artem Vaschylenko, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Ukrainian Maritime Cluster: “The development of the maritime industry of Ukraine and integration into the European community are the main and constant priorities of the Ukrainian Maritime Cluster, which are impossible without each other. And today, one of the main tasks for the Cluster is establishing reliable relations with key European associations and clusters. As a new European state, Ukraine should become a reliable business partner of the European Union. Membership in the European Boating Industry is of essential importance in supporting and facilitating members of UMC in growth, jobs and innovations. Further development and deepening of relations with EBI will contribute to the implementation of the best European standards and working on key strategic areas in the maritime sphere.”

Olena Zhukova, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Maritime Cluster: “Further integration of Ukraine to the European maritime community is inevitable. Damage caused to our industry and infrastructure by the enemy is tremendous, but reconstruction of Ukraine together with our European partners will make us globally stronger. We are grateful to EBI for the proposed membership, so we can start planning our joint innovative and sustainable development!”

Vinzenz Batt, Secretary-General of the Swiss Boat Builders Association: “The Swiss Boat Builders Association is very pleased to be a new member of EBI. EBI is of great importance for our market and our members, both in terms of representing our interests at the EU, but also as a thought leader on technical issues. We are looking forward to the coming personal exchanges and to being able to further contribute to the strengthening of EBI with our association.”
Jeroen van den Heuvel, Director of the Marine Industry department at HISWA-RECRON: “With EBI, we like to be involved in the EU legislation and EU projects. Reactive, like the upcoming Recreational Craft Directive changes, but proactive as well, like the boat recycling scheme. We do believe that working together does effect more for our members than we can achieve on our own.”

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