The European Logistics Association held its General Assembly Annual Meeting in Birmingham UK in early June. It is reported in full elsewhere, but it was not lost on me that it coincided with the emerging European crises over the Constitution and subsequently the budget. The Association has an important message for Europe at this difficult time.
ELA came together at another time of concern – as competition prompted cooperation to improve standards and expertise across Europe to ensure we are able better to compete in a global marketplace. Since that time, and with a strong emphasis on the practical, important steps forward have been taken. But equally, the challenges that face us have grown, making it all the more vital we build on what we have.
Difficulties beset the European Community.
There are important political issues at stake but it is important to remember that life in the global market goes on and it is vital we don’t neglect the positive things that have been achieved. Trade issues, the skills and training of the workforce and planning must not drop out of sight. They demand continuity while other issues are resolved.
Turning to ELA domestic affairs, the Annual Meeting provided an opportunity to review the progress we have made last year, and to look forward to the future. An additional Associate Member, the Israeli Purchasing and Logistics Managers Association joined and ELUPEG, the European Logistic Users, Providers and Enablers Group, which shares much common ground with us, joined as an Affiliate Member. All this will help ensure the ELA acts as the widest possible forum for cooperation in Europe.
We also enjoyed a most stimulating Eurolog conference as part of CILT(UK)’s Logistics Event at theBirmingham NEC. As president, I am grateful to CILT(UK) for an excellent programme. I was particularly encouraged by the turnout for the Logistics Trainers Day arranged by the ELA Vocational and Education Committee. But undoubtedly the highlight of the week was the presentation of the ELA European Award for Logistics Excellence to Ceccetto by HRH The Princess Royal, CILT(UK)’s Royal Patron. We were fortunate indeed.
Graham A Ewer, ELA President