By CEMA President, Anthony Van der Ley 

Dear CEMA colleagues and friends,

Let me start these lines wishing a very prosperous, healthy and successful 2019. The New Year always comes with good resolutions which - translated for the agricultural machinery business - would clearly be to keep providing the best adapted technology solutions that respond to farmers’ needs all over Europe.

Looking back, 2018 Business Climate had its ups and downs but kept a relatively good mood along the year. Marked by the entry into force of the “Mother” Regulation for all types of agricultural vehicles, this made CEMA manufacturers pull great efforts and get ready to comply with new safety and functional rules. Soon a clear view on 2018’s market results will be available since the closing figures are about to come.

Turning to 2019, a challenging year lies ahead. As of January, the new diesel engine exhaust emission rules (Stage V) will be implemented. With this step, EU environmental requirements for agricultural machines will become the strictest in the world and will position European equipment as the cleanest available on the global market. It is too soon to assess the uptake by our customers in the European Union.

As regards the EU arena, 2019 leads us to a very exciting time. The uncertainty to reach a Brexit’s deal before spring time has marked already the beginning of the year. Secondly, the Common Agricultural Policy negotiations are still ongoing. The European Parliament will vote on a draft report in early spring with the hope talks among the three bodies will start before May. Would that be a reasonable option considering the upcoming EU elections will reshuffle the current legislative bodies?

Thus, EU elections will mark the pace for this year. Candidates are getting ready and so does CEMA. With a reinforced CEMA secretariat, this will be the right time to make a reality check and raise constructive but necessary asks to the new elected representatives.  A balanced regulatory framework that supports the competitiveness of the European agricultural machinery industry will be key to keep the current leadership and innovation levels of this sector. Moreover, this New Year is arising new topics at EU level such as agricultural data-sharing or artificial intelligence, where CEMA will provide its knowledge & expertise for the benefit of the industry.

Last but not least, I seize this occasion to invite you all to join the dinner debate “Smart Equipment for Sustainable Agriculture” that CEMA & the European Forum for Manufacturing are organising on 20 of February 2019. Agriculture’s Commissioner Phil Hogan is confirmed as keynote speaker, numerous Members of the Parliament will attend, and high-level industry delegates will be around the table. You are more than welcome to come and share your views.

Let me wish you again a fruitful and brilliant 2019,

Yours faithfully,

Anthony Van der Ley,

CEMA President  

2019 01 vanderLey