Europe update: The FEMA AGM 2018
The Federation of European Motorcycle Associations held it’s AGM in Brussels on Saturday February 10 2018, at the Aqua hotel.
The meeting was attended by 24 delegates from 18 different National Motorcycle Organisations (NMO), from 14 countries, both from within and outside the EU. FEMA was also represented by the staff and President, along with the invited speaker, bringing the total of attendees to 29.
Following reports from President Anna Zee and Treasurer Jim Freeman, the Board was re-elected with a new member Geir Strand (NMCU) replacing Theo Beeldens (MAG B).
The guest speaker, Marchel Bulthuis of Electric Motorcycles NL, made an in-depth presentation of electric motorcycles, using the Energica Eva that he’d ridden to the meeting as a demonstrator.
After the lunch break, Communications Officer Wim Taal and General Secretary Dolf Willigers reported on FEMA’s activities.
Presentations were made by Maria Nordqvist (SMC) on NMO marketing, and Ian Churchlow (MAG UK) on the impact and implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679.
The highlight of the afternoon session was the debate, moderated by Anna Zee: ‘The future of motorcycling: Revolution or Evolution?’. This focused specifically on the impact of Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Autonomous Electric Vehicles (AEVs) and related systems on the future of motorcycling. In the context of FEMA, this was specifically aimed at providing General Secretary Dolf Willigers with feedback from the NMOs to enable him to develop policy for the future.
The focus on individual choice and freedom remains unchanged. The general feeling was that, while the future was electric (particularly in urban areas), Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles should nonetheless still be supported into the future as well.
The standardisation and across-platform payment of EV recharging was already regarded as a major issue. One delegate, Olaf Biethan (BVDM) reported that despite having nine different energy payment cards, he still could not guarantee being able to recharge everywhere.
The final key point was that motorcycles had to be allowed to share the roads with other, future classes of vehicle. Specifically, level 5 fully autonomous vehicles.
The meeting closed a little later than expected, but the general feeling was that positive steps had been made to promote, protect and preserve motorcyclists, both present and future.