Like many other organisations, however, EBCU plans continue to be restricted by further waves of the pandemic, write Ray Turpie. Our Anniversary Year ambitions have been hampered but we are still hopeful some celebrations can take place before the year ends.

Consequently, the 62nd Plenary meeting was held virtually. At this meeting, Delegates supported CAMRA proposals to modernise and improve the effectiveness of the EBCU by setting up a Working Group (WG) to progress this aspiration. This consists of two Executive members and four national Delegate representatives. It meets once a month under my chairmanship, and I am pleased to report some progress is being made.

The main points being considered by the group are as follows:

i. Agreeing Mission and Vision Statements

ii. Setting clear campaign priorities and improving value for members

iii. The future structure of EBCU including its establishment as a legal entity

iv. The role of the Secretariat

Other issues discussed, aimed at enhancing EBCU’s performance, include a social media policy, potential collaboration with CAMRA’s Learn & Discovery programme, a roll out of in-house seminars, incorporation as a not for profit organisation plus all that entails and a new Service Level Agreement between CAMRA and EBCU covering the Secretariat arrangements.

The WG plan is to put forward recommendations to the 63rd Plenary in April. If approved, the following six months will involve the implementation of the recommendations. One thing that has become obvious over the past year is the benefits and savings of virtual meetings. Although perhaps not so much fun as networking, it looks as if they are here to stay.

There is still much work to be done and future progress hangs on the outcome if EBCU is to remain relevant to the issues of concern to European beer consumers. I am confident, however, that progress will be made.

Ray Turpie, EBCU Executive, Spring 2021.

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