BRUSSELS, Belgium - At the annual general meeting recently held, the European Twowheel Retailers Association (ETRA) had the pleasure of welcoming a new member: the Czech trade-association for bicycle dealers ASPK.
Petr Kohoutek and Jan Taich will represent ASPK in the ETRA Committee. The Czech association has only been established at the end of 2006 and is still in a start up phase. ASPK is currently focussing on the development of services for its members, among other things in the field of safety at work, waste management and environmental regulations.
Moreover, ASPK is trying to bring about a stricter application of the CEN standards. Today only 20 to 30% of the bicycles on the Czech market comply with the European technical requirements.
Another acute issue on ASPK’s agenda is the training of bicycle dealers in the Czech Republic. Since today such training is inexistent, ASPK and ETRA are examining how the experience and expertise, which is available in other European countries, could be used in the Czech Republic.
We are prood
When ASPK joined ETRA, Petr Kohoutek stated on behalf of his association: “We are proud for ASPK to be a member of ETRA and we hope that our membership will be beneficial to both ASPK and ETRA.” ETRA President Nigel Hill stated: “ASPK membership also has an important symbolic value, since it is the very first dealer association from Eastern Europe to join our European platform.”
ASPK’s affiliation has been precipitated by a review of the ETRA membership conditions. As of this year, new members can enjoy a transitional arrangement for 2 years, during which they pay a reduced membership fee. Associations less than 4 years old pay a minimum rate, older associations pay a fixed fee that depends on their membership. With this new system, ETRA wants to give candidate members two years’ time to get to know the activities and the value of the European trade-association.
ETRA has a very busy year ahead. Urban transport policy, VAT-reduction, the review of competition policy and B/A1 driver’s license equivalence are the most important political dossiers for 2008. After the successful promotional event organised in the framework of last year’s Mobility Week, ETRA is now investigating promotional opportunities for this year.
ETRA has also submitted a proposal to the European Commission for the Green Week, which takes place from June 3rd till 6th. A promotional event in the European Parliament in the framework of Mobility Week in September is also in the pipeline.