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fi a update news
infl uencing european policy
Steven Ward, the FIA’s TEZAK
public affairs and
policy manager,
reports on the
progress of EHFA
and gives his thoughts
for the future

he Annual EHFA General
Assembly, which took place at
FIBO 2009, saw Harm Tegelaars
re-elected to his role as chair of EHFA,
the body that represents the sector
at EU level. Also re-elected to the
board was the FIA’s Andrée Deane,
joined by newcomers including Jan
Edholm, CEO of fi tness provider SATS
Group Sweden; Frank Van de Ven,
vice president EMEA for Life Fitness;
and Armando Moreira, director of the
Portuguese trade association AGAP.
With Tegelaars confi rmed in the role EHFA: Highlighting the contribution the fitness sector makes to public health
for a further two years, I thought it an
ideal opportunity to look back on what’s accreditation programme. Robert industry’s interests can be best served
been achieved so far and what’s in the Madelin, the director general of DG at the European level. Progress in
pipeline for the next 24 months. SANCO – the highest-ranking health the past two years suggests that the
official in Europe – has also expressed collaboration between the FIA and
steady progress keenness to work with the organisation. EHFA has been the right decision.
EHFA has made a great start in EHFA has also begun to form the Of course, there have been some
developing the relationships needed to relationships necessary to shape policies challenges – not least the strained
shape policy in the European Union. around taxation. Rolf Diemar, the EU relations between EHFA and the
For the past two years, EHFA has official with responsibility for VAT, has industry’s global body, US-based IHRSA,
been operating out of its head offi ce in promised EHFA an opportunity to have which is in the process of being resolved.
Brussels, and has facilitated an ever- its views heard in the consultation Issues such as music licensing may require
deepening working relationship with process that will lead to the review of EU a global response; IHRSA and EHFA
key departments of the European VAT guidelines. The fitness sector may need to be singing from the same hymn
Commission: DG SANCO, responsible even be profiled as an example of why the sheet. The issues facing the industry are
for health and consumer protection; original regulations are in need of review. also being recognised beyond Europe:
DG EAC, in charge of education, the World Health Organisation, the
lifelong learning and culture; and DG forging ahead Organisation for Economic Co-operation
Taxation and Customs. The initial phases of any public affairs and Development and the World
EHFA has also taken an active role in programme is making your organisation Economic Forum are all showing interest
supporting the EU Platform for Action and its priorities known to key officials. in global public health.
on Diet Physical Activity and Health, In the past two years, EHFA has As US president Kennedy once wrote
run by DG SANCO. In doing so, it has achieved this initial objective in the areas to Jean Monnet, a founding father of the
increased the visibility of the health of health, sport, education and taxation. EU, only “America and a united Europe,
and fi tness sector and highlighted the It’s now time to capitalise on the working in full and effective partnership,
contribution it makes to public health. opportunities that arise as a result. can fi nd solutions to those urgent
DG EAC co-financed EHFA’s core The FIA is fully behind this effort. problems that confront all mankind”. With
operations for the past two years, It is through having people on the the state of the economy and waistlines
including the European Register of ground in Brussels, living and breathing across the globe, I think we have suffi cient
Exercise Professionals (EREPs) and the the Commission every day, that the reason to put these words into practice.
is the offi cial recruitment magazine of the fi a
20 Read Health Club Management online june 2009 © cybertrek 2009
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