egs 2The EGS Association's 50th Directors' General Meeting and Workshop was held in March 2021 and was attended by 63 individuals representing 30 of the 38 geological surveys.

The Association has been in existence since 1971, when the first Western European Geological Surveys (WEGS) discussion group was formed, covering the national geological surveys of Western Europe and Scandinavia, as well as Cyprus, Greece and Turkey. The first statement issued by WEGS, on behalf of its 21 members, titled "Geology and the Environment in Western Europe", marked a key stage in the development of EGS. By the early 1990s, membership had grown to 30 and the discussion group had become known as the Forum of European Geological Surveys (FOREGS). In 1995, EuroGeoSurveys was officially registered as an international non-profit association. Today, EGS brings together 38 European geological surveys and several thousand experts conducting various regional research in Europe.

The General Meeting of Directors was preceded by a workshop for directors held on 16.03.2021. The first part of the workshop was devoted to the Coordination and Support Action (CSA) project, which is planned to launched as a successor to GeoERA. The first results of the task groups, aimed at establishing the project structure and developing its budget, were presented. The following key milestones for further developing the project were discussed: the definition of task packages, individual tasks and deliverables; the development of the project budget in relation to CSA’s strategic objectives; the definition of the involvement of the geological surveys in the project development process.

The second part of the workshop discussed the Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda (SRIA) document, which sets out the priority research directions and innovation activities to be undertaken by the geological surveys in joint pan-European projects. The Secretary General reported that work on the document had been ongoing since 2019 and confirmed the good cooperation and strong commitment of all geological surveys. The document was well received by the participants of the meeting, who pointed out its convergence with the strategies in the different geological surveys. It was stated that it is a "live document" that will certainly need to be updated in 2-3 years. The main assumptions included in the SRIA document will be taken into account when preparing the PIG-PIB strategy.

During the General Assembly on 24.03.2021, chaired by EGS President Mr. Ralph Watzel (BGR), the EGS Directors elected a new Secretary General for 2021-2025. Out of 18 applications sent, 3 individuals most-fitting the candidate profile were selected for the final vote. At the last minute, one person withdrew and the votes for the other two were almost equally distributed, resulting in the election of Julie Hollis as Secretary, who if she takes up the position will succeed Slavko Solar.

As part of the General Meeting, at the request of TNO (Dutch Organization for the Application of Science), part of the meeting was dedicated to the GeoERA program, during which Joop Hasselmann presented the status of 15 projects implemented as part of the program.

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In addition, the meeting discussed current affairs - amendments to the EGS statutes, unanimously agreed to form a new Geoheritage Expert Group, and elected new members to the audit committee.

Due to the need for further urgent arrangements for the Coordination and Support Action (CSA) project, the need for an emergency meeting of the Directors in May-June 2021 was determined.

The Secretariat recalled that the 50th anniversary celebrations of the EGS will be held in March 2022 in Brussels, combined with a high-level conference to showcase key scientific and societal achievements resulting from cooperation between the geological surveys of Europe.

The Polish Geological Institute - National Research Institute was represented by the Deputy Director for Geological Survey Dr. Andrzej Głuszyński.

Created by: Marta Banasiewicz oraz Andrzej Głuszyński
Translated by Tomasz Trzpil (PGI-NRI)