Interview / "We must be recognized as the official voice of yachting in Europe."

Jean-Pierre Goudant, President of the European Boating Industry (EBI)

Jean-Pierre Goudant has just taken over as head of the European Boating Industry association, EBI. He explains his ambitions for the structure and the European nautical industry and lists the next working themes for yachting.

European Boating Industry, a European structure grouping the national associations of the nautical industries, has renewed its leadership. Jean-Pierre Goudant, elected President on June 3, 2019, gives us his vision of EBI's role and the issues to be addressed.

Can you remind us of your roles in French and European boating before your election?

I was a member of the Supervisory Board of the Bénéteau Group until the change of status last February (Editor's note: The Group became a public limited company with a Board of Directors on that occasion). I was also vice-president of the Fédération des Industries Nautiques and I remain vice-president of Nautic Festival SA (NDLR: the structure in charge of the organization of the Nautic de Paris), in charge of the animation of the strategic committee. I joined EBI at the request of Yves Lyon-Caen when he was Chairman, as a member of the Executive Committee. Piero Formenti's term of office as President was coming to an end, after 2 years, renewable once. At the request of my peers, I agreed to take the job.

What is your roadmap for EBI?

EBI has had its ups and downs. EBI needs to be closer to the European Union authorities to follow up on the files. We need to reconnect with DG Mare and give more visibility to EBI. We need to be recognised as the official voice of yachting and the boating industry in Europe, to do more lobbying.

What concrete measures are being taken? Do we need more members?

On the one hand, there is a need to improve harmonisation between federations by better relaying information and sharing initiatives and results within EBI. The association was originally created around the 5 major federations Italian, French, British, German and Spanish. The United Kingdom has left and other small federations, such as in Scandinavia, have left us after the crisis of 2008 and financial difficulties. Some have returned and others are interested. We are going to continue our prospecting with the aim of winning back the market. This is important for our weight in discussions with the European authorities.

What are the main upcoming topics for EBI?

There is a review of the RCD (Editor's note: European Boating Directive) to come. We initiated it and it is important that EBI implement this review. End-of-life boats are also an issue. For example, France's actions in this area should be made known to other federations. We will also work to improve our market research and statistical monitoring. Finally, a complete reorganization of EBI is underway. We are looking for a new person as General Secretary.

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