42nd Session of the EMS Council

The 42nd session of the EMS Council was scheduled for 24/25 March in Reading, UK. However, because of the restrictions on travel and social distancing associated with COVID-19, a video meeting was held on the afternoon of the 24th. Reducing the length of the meeting meant that the emphasis was placed on dealing with urgent matters. Other matters will be dealt with by correspondence, delegation to the Bureau (President, Vice President and Treasurer) or postponement to the September Council meeting.

At its 42nd session, the Council elected Bert Holtslag (NVBM, The Netherlands) as President of the EMS for a three-year the term of office starting on 11 September 2020. Bert is well-respected in both academic and operational meteorology, and has extensive experience in leading research programmes and serving on numerous international committees. Also Bert has been an active participant of the annual EMS meetings, often in the role of session convener. He recently retired as Emeritus Professor of Meteorology and Chair at the Meteorology and Air Quality Department at Wageningen University, The Netherlands.

Jean-Pierre Chalon has retired as Vice President after long involvement with the EMS Council and EMS Bureau. He has been replaced by Dominique Marbouty as representative on météo et climat. The Council elected Dominique, a former EMS President, as Vice President for a three-year term of office starting on 24 March 2020. Dominique is also a member of the EMS Technology Achievement Award Committee.

In addition to electing the President and Vice President, the Council:

  • Approved the Memorandum of Understanding between the EMS and the Harry Otten Foundation – this concerns the awarding of the Harry Otten Prize.
  • Requested that the Committee on Meetings further explores the possibility of holding EMS Annual Meetings in Ghent, Belgium, in 2023 and Utrecht, The Netherlands, in 2024 and Split, Croatia, in 2025.
  • Chose the recipient of the EMS Silver Medal 2020 (the announcementof the Laureate will be made shortly).
  • Decided not to award the Technology Achievement Award (TTA) in 2020, but requested that the TTA Committee review the requirements and procedures for the award.
  • Welcomed EUMETNET and meteoblue AG as new EMS Associate Members.
  • Approved the composition of the Programme and Science Committee for the EMS Annual Meeting to be held in Barcelona in 2021 and revised guidelines for proposals for venues for EMS Annual Meetings.
  • Approved the composition of the selection committees for some Media Awards, and changes to the terms of reference of the EMS Media Weather Forecast Award and EMS Journalistic Award.

The Council considered what action to take to address the potential impact of COVID-19 on plans for the Annual Meeting to be held in Bratislava, Slovakia, in September. The main options appear to be as follows: (a) assume it will go ahead as planned, (b) have a combined on-site and on-line meeting, (c) have an on-line meeting and (d) cancel the meeting. These options will be investigated with a view to making a decision about the way forward at a special session of Council scheduled for 12 May.

The next session of Council is planned to take place in Bratislava in September (afternoon of 5th and the morning of the 6th), with the General Assembly in the afternoon of the 6th.

Bob Riddaway
EMS President


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