EMS Council and General Assembly held online
The new EMS President, Bert Holtslag, reports on the Council and General Assembly held online in 2020
The EMS Council and General Assembly met on 3 and 9 September 2020, respectively. Normally these meetings are held in conjunction with the yearly EMS conference, but due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions the Bratislava conference was cancelled. Consequently, the Council Session and General Assembly were held online. As before in physical meetings, the online meetings were lively and informative and they play an important role in the governance of the EMS – though the personal interactions during the coffee breaks and in the evenings were missing. Thanks go to everyone who contributed to making a success of these meetings.
The key outcomes of the two events are as follows.
The Council plans, directs, monitors and manages the affairs of the EMS. At its 44th session, the Council:
- Welcomed the idea of having one virtual Council session each year to reduce travel and the related ecological footprint. However, it will not be compulsory to follow a particular regime every year and the option of participating remotely at each physical meeting should be provided if possible.
- Agreed that the Rules of Procedure of Council would need to be revised taking into account any changes in the constitution agreed by the General Assembly (physical meeting/virtual meeting) and the need to allow electronic voting.
- Approved the EMS budget for 2021.
- Approved membership of the Committee on Meetings and the Media & Communications Committee .
- Agreed a roadmap for defining strategic priorities and finalizing the strategic plan.
- Agreed to hold a meeting in early 2021 to decide on the format of the Annual Meeting 2021 and on the structure and level of the registration fees.
- Agreed that the new strategic plan should take into account the desirability of EMS taking a more active role in supporting and developing of the GWE (Global Weather Enterprise) in Europe.
Minutes of this session are available at https://www.emetsoc.org/about-ems/council/council-meetings/. The next Council Session will take place end of January or early February 2021 with the main agenda item to discuss and decide on the format of the EMS Annual Meeting 2021: onsite, virtual or hybrid. The next regular Council Meeting will then be held in spring 2021.
The General Assembly consists of representatives of the Member Societies and Associate Members. Bob Riddaway, on the last day of his presidency, thanked all participants of this very first assembly that was held virtually for their numerous attendance.
The General Assembly:
- Approved the reports of the Bureau (consisting of the President, Vice-President and Treasurer) and of the Treasurer, and appointed an auditor for the financial accounts of 2020.
- Welcomed two new associate members: EUMETNET, EIG, the collaborative framework for National Meteorological/Hydrometeorological Services in Europe; and Meteoblue, Switzerland, a Swiss specialist company producing and supplying high precision weather and environmental data.
- Noted also that the Associate Member Azeraeronavigation (AZANS), Azerbaijan, is cancelling its Associate Membership from 2020.
- Elected the Societies in Romania – Societatea Meteorologică Românăto (SMR) and Asociația Română de Meteorologie Aplicată și Educație (ARMAE) – and the Netherlands Foundation for the Advancement of Meteorology (officially “Nederlandse Vereniging ter bevordering van de Meteorologie, NVBM) as representative Societies on the EMS Council for the term autumn 2020–autumn 2023.
- Agreed amendments to the constitution that address changes associated with participation in meetings, clarify a few issues and recognise current practice
- Decided to remove the option allowing secret votes from the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly.
After this session of the General Assembly, the term of two rotating Members on the EMS Council were ending. The President thanked Sven-Erik Grying (DaMS, Denmark) and Zoltan Dunkel (MMT, Hungary) for their contributions and critical interventions during the last three years. In particular, their commitment to make the two recent EMS Annual Meetings in Budapest and Copenhagen outstanding successes are highly appreciated by the EMS.
In spring, Jean-Pierre Chalon stood down as the Météo et Climat representative on Council. The President thanked him for his contributions to the work of the Bureau work and Council Sessions over many years and his commitment to the further development of the EMS. Dominique Marbouty has taken on the representation of Météo et Climat on the Council, and had also been elected Vice-President in spring 2020.
This was the last General Assembly that was chaired by Bob Riddaway as President of the EMS. On behalf of the EMS Members, the Vice-President Dominique Marbouty expressed the gratitude for Bob’s relentless work and efforts to further develop the EMS activities and most of all put in place a strategy that clearly identifies the priorities.
Minutes of this Assembly are available at https://www.emetsoc.org/about-ems/general-assembly/
The next Assembly is planned for September 2021 either physically in Barcelona or online if COVID-19 travel restrictions are still in force.