40 years of the European Boating Association

Founded in 1982, the European Boating Association (EBA) has been marking its 40th anniversary with a look back on some of its achievement and milestone events. From maritime tourism to the future means of propulsion and automatic identification systems, the EBA has worked tirelessly to ensure boat users are informed and consulted about EU legislation and have their views known to relevant European Institutions.

Early years

The first meeting of the EBA took place in November 1982 with 7 national boating associations present (UK, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Sweden) and a constitution was agreed. 

The membership of the EBA expanded steadily in the years that followed and by 2006 the EBA comprised of 27 member organisations from 18 countries. This prompted an overhaul of the EBA’s constitution, which continues to form the basis of the EBA’s governance.

The EBA develops position statements, agreed by the EBA General Assembly, to provide a European view from the Recreational Boat User’s perspective. A complete set of the EBA’s position statements can be viewed on the EBA website, these cover a wide range of subjects, including, boat registration, hull fouling, skipper licensing, and many more. The statements are reviewed every 5 years to ensure that they remain relevant and correctly reflect EBA members’ opinions.   

To celebrate this milestone year, the association has released an online report, ‘Celebrating 40 years of the EBA’. The report details some of the topics which the EBA has actively participated in or positively influenced over the past 40 years. 

Future steps

The RYA has been involved both as a member and as the Secretariat of the EBA since its inception and plays a key role facilitating the association’s work. The RYA’s work as the EBA Secretariat involves representing the EBA at meetings the RYA would otherwise not have access to. A priority for the association going forwards is the growing need to ensure both a safe and sustainable future for recreational boating. Safety of navigation, sustainability, and reaching Net Zero are key topics that have been cited as driving the EBA’s agenda. 

You can learn more about the work of the EBA by visiting the EBA website where you can also view the report, ‘Celebrating 40 years 1982 – 2022.’


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