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22 June 2010, Brussels

EARSC held its AGM in Brussels on 22nd June and the afternoon was devoted to a workshop on the insurance industry and Geo-spatial information. BP happens to be self-insured so they have their own fund set aside to deal with disasters yet this is rare and Fiona Shaw of Willis Analytics and Dr Haverkamp of MunichRe explained that they have significant needs for geo-spatial information to support their risk assessments for underwriting. This looks to be a market worth exploring further and EARSC will continue to act as a broker and mediator to create opportunities for its members.

The morning was devoted to the agm itself and a workshop looking at GMES. The agm proceeded smoothly; Han Wensink gave an upbeat report on the industry and the activities of the association. Importantly he reported that we are finally near to finding a Secretary General for the Association that will indeed be a major step forward once he or she is in place. The treasurer, Andre Jadot, reported that the finances of the Association remain sound – in no small way aided by the award of the eoVox2 study for which Logica is the prime contractor but which supports directly EARSC in its business.

On GMES, first Norbert Glante Member of the European Parliament and rapporteur of the recent opinion on the Initial services communication. Praised the progress being made by the EC on GMES and welcomed the voice of EARSC as a representative body with which to engage in shaping future legislation.

Then Mauro Facchini, deputy head of the GMES Bureau also welcomed the opportunity to exchange with EARSC and the position paper that we are preparing. This will help greatly in ensuring that the industry role is recognized and reflected in the future actions. He explained that now the initial operations has been approved the focus will turn to governance.

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