Family picture after General Assembly (from left to right): Jānis Sijāts, Vidzeme Tourism Association (Latvia) ; Nicolas Poulouin (AF3V -France) ; Albert Gómez (Consorci Vies Verdes De Girona – Spain ) ; Dany Heck – Tourismusagentur Ostbelgien, Belgium ; Daniel Mourek , Environmental Partnership Association (EPA), Czech Republic / Giulio Senes, New President, Italian Greenways Association, Italy / Kris Rockelé (Province Antwerpen, Belgium); Anne Daubechies, Walonie (Belgium); Gilbert Perrin, Outgoing President, Chemins du Rail (Belgium); Mercedes Muñoz, EGWA Director.
Giulio Senes from the Italian Greenways Association (Italy) is the new EGWA president by acclamation of the General Assembly held in Namur (Belgium) last October. Senes had previously been Vice-President and knows the association very well as a founder member of EGWA.
Namur, a highly symbolic place, was chosen for Gilbert Perrin to leave the presidency and to “close the circle”, since it was here where the Association started, promoted by himself and other partners in 1998. It was a very emotional farewell for him as president, but not from EGWA, where Gilbert will continue to be a member of the Executive Committee. But now he will have more time to devote to Chemins du Rail, the association of volunteers also promoted by Gilbert and other partners to encourage greenway development in Wallonie.
The General Assembly also approved the change of the Association’s headquarters, which will now be at Chemins du Rail, also in Namur. EGWA really appreciates the warm welcome from this kindred association where the General Assembly and other events were held during the day.
The General Assembly also approved the modification of the statutes in order to admit members from any member country of the Council of Europe. This change was prompted by requests from some organizations in countries outside the EU and EFTA interested in becoming EGWA members, something which was not permitted under the previous statutes. There is a fantastic heritage and a large number of potential greenways in many of these countries, and the association is already cooperating with some of these organizations to promote greenways there. Now these organizations can become members of the EGWA, which will help strengthen our association’s activities in promoting greenways. We would like to give a warm welcome to organizations from these countries to EGWA!