The European Union of Swimming Pool and Spa Associations (EUSA) was formed in 2003 and represents the views of the industry on various government, industry and European Standards committees, produces updated market data reports and shares good practice, amongst a number of functions. Its existence provides the means by which associations are able to become involved with European standards, where individual national associations would not be able to. EUSA comprises National Associations from 13 countries, including the UK.
As EUSA President Philippe Bach reflects on his first year in office, he offers some insight into the work undertaken by the thirteen national associations from across Europe that are EUSA members.
“I am very proud to be EUSA’s President, and I have seen at first hand the professionalism and commitment from the individuals representing their national associations and the collective desire to give EUSA a strong voice. Each of the member countries has an opportunity to voice their opinion, and there may be a variety of different views on any given topic, but they all share the same willingness and desire to promote our industry and to raise standards”.
EUSA usually meets twice per year, and in 2014 the venues were in Paris and Brussels. The first meeting took place in Paris, the City where the FPP (French Federation of Swimming Pool Professionals) are based, as this National Association is currently coordinating the work of EUSA. This was followed by the meeting in Brussels, which reflected the desire to meet with a lobbying company to identify what assistance they could provide to EUSA in staying updated on the many pieces of regulation and standards that can impact our industry.
EUSA has ‘Liaison Status’ for both the relevant Technical Committees (TC) dealing with Domestic (TC 402) and Commercial (TC 136) pool standards. Many of the EUSA members are also directly represented at the meetings of the Working Groups (WG) for both the commercial pool standards, but especially the domestic pool standards.
The standards being developed in WG1 (domestic swimming pool construction and installation) are anticipated to be published by September 2015, depending on the results of the Final Vote.
The standards in WG2 (water circulation, filtration and treatment) are being revised in light of the CEN Public Enquiry, and my understanding is that the drafts will be finalised at a meeting scheduled for February 2015 in Paris. These standards are therefore likely to be published sometime in 2016.
The work of WG3 is to produce a standard for mini pools (these are pools bigger than those defined in the toy standards, but which may not necessarily fall into the standards set out in WG1 above). The newest Working Group (WG4) is for domestic spas and hot tubs, and work has only just begun on this important topic. This is collaboration between a number of European partners and counterparts in North America, and to reflect the desire for a closer working relationship, a meeting was held between European and North American representatives at Piscine Global to discuss items of interest relating to spas and hot tubs.
Sharing good practice
Apart from standards, EUSA has been hard at work sharing good practice to learn new ways of strengthening each of the national associations, through understanding what works well in another country, and bringing new ideas for how to increase the benefits for companies in other countries. The networking opportunities afforded by the EUSA meetings provide a great way of getting to know members and listening to their views about the industry.
These meetings are also used to discuss the promotion of EUSA to non-member associations, and they have even looked at ways in which we can assist countries forming their own association where none already exists. Recent ideas shared between members include our German colleagues talking about the ways in which they have harnessed social media to promote themselves and the industry in Germany. Our French colleagues shared information on the launch of a consumer label in France, after surveying what consumers think about swimming pools.
Promotion of the industry is a vital task of EUSA. Now in its second year, the EUSA Awards, took place at Piscine Global, Lyon. Our congratulations go to all of this year’s winners in the five domestic award categories (indoor pools, outdoor pools, spas, above ground pools and hot tubs). The judges viewed 86 entries, and companies from 5 different countries won at least one (or more) award(s). The next EUSA Awards in 2015 are due to be held at Piscina in Barcelona. We look forward to the continued success of these awards which so far have helped to drive increased publicity for both EUSA and the celebrated award winners.
EUSA generates data (based on estimates) for pool installations in Europe, and a
presentation of the market data was provided for a Pool Summit at Piscine Global, in Lyon.
This work is very important, and the Pool Summit was a chance to cement the relationships
with other parts of the world and also specifically to harness the spa and hot-tub part of the
EUSA working with other European partners
EUSA is keen to forge partnerships with European representative bodies that can strengthen the voice of the industry with key decision-makers in Europe. A meeting was recently held with Eurochlor, who represent 90% of the chorine producers in Europe. They have several working groups, including one that deals with swimming pools, and they have also produced a video and some other promotional items about pool chemical safety. By working with Eurochlor, EUSA aims to be able to review the relevant European directives / regulations (e.g. Biocides or REACH). It should also be possible to work together to highlight the benefits of swimming and the need for disinfection. Posters can be supplied with key information on topics such as good practice, guidelines for dosing, handling transport and regulatory information. EUSA would welcome an approach from other representative bodies at a European level where there could be mutual advantage by working together.
EUSA will be working even more closely with another European representative body ‘Europump’ as part of ongoing discussions about the efficiencies of swimming pool pumps, as laid out in a European working group called ‘Lot 29’. The strength of EUSA is that it can share its resources to work with other bodies to ensure that important data can be compiled to make representations to Europe about the different pump technologies that already exist, and to challenge some potential misunderstandings in energy savings that have previously been proposed by other parties involved in the discussions.
Lobbying in Europe
EUSA understands the importance of being kept up to date about proposed changes to European Directives, Regulations and Standards, and is looking for cost-effective ways of working with approved lobbyists to keep up to date with current documents that impact on the industry – and also with the proposed ones that are currently being discussed. Gathering information from the work of the EU institutions via web sites, media websites and social networks of the institutions is one way of anticipating the changes and the new rules.