The roots of
the first CEDIA go back to contacts between agronomists of the large
European countries, founders of the EEC, in the framework of their
activities in Brussels.
The Common Agricultural
Policy (CAP), which is one of the cornerstones on which the European
Union is built, had resulted in many Agronomists being resident
in the Belgian capital.
Even more, all
the nationalities of the first club of six, had, and still have
an agronomist association / liaison group in Brussels.
French and Italians created the first European Agronomist Association
in June 1987. Its original name was: The European Committee of Agronomists.
In the beginning,
this association had a status similar to that of ICA (Interfaculty
Consortium for Agricultural and related sciences in Europe) at that
time - an appendix to CEPFAR (The European promotion and training
centre for the rural population). In fact it was an informal association
with no legal status.
From its beginning,
CEDIA always favoured the development of direct contacts among Community
Agronomists, not only in Brussels but also in European member countries
and associated countries.
awareness of “ local “ populations, of European decisions,
taken in Brussels, has increased significantly in the last decade,
involvement in the European way of thinking and in European integration
is still a big concern.
Exchange of information among colleagues and activities aiming at
further EU Integration are therefore still prevailing themes of
our action programmes.
In Oct 1996,
in Copenhagen, the European Association of Agronomists changed its
name to that of Cedia “The European Confederation of Agronomist
Associations”; adopted a constitution and expanded its role.
The adaptation of a constitution and statutes
conferred on the Association the status of a legal Non Profit Association.
This strengthened the organisational basis of the Association and
gave it legal recognition and status. It also gave it the potential
to develop its activities, have a bank account, participate in certain
community programmes, and set up its own secretariat. Cedia has
since, further expanded its horizons, by recently becoming a member
of AIMA –The World Organisation of Agronomists Associations.
During the past
years representatives from the following countries have served as
President and chaired the CEDIA board respectively: - Denmark (B.
Östegard), Germany (Ms C. Volkinsveld), France (J. Herblot),
Belgium (W. Ryon), France (Paul Deram), Portugal (Alberto Krohn
de Silva). Sean Gaule from Ireland is currently the President of
Cedia and chairs the board meetings.
Thanks to the
financial and other support of Member Associations and of the European
Commission, CEDIA has been able to organise a number of International
Conferences, seminars and other events on subjects of particular
interest to its members. In addition to a number Cedia/ ICA joint
conferences study visits were also organised by Cedia in conjunction
with member associations, very often to co inside with major agricultural
events in that particular country.
carried out various examinations and studies on the situation of
the Agronomist in the various member States - among the most important
items considered were statutory / legal situation, training, employment
of interest were the structure of the national or regional agronomist
associations and their number and conditions for membership. Questions
about their principal fields of professional activity and about
the remuneration were also included. A current study in progress
will provide up to date information on the present situation.
In order to
address a crisis in employment for agronomists, which was quite
severe a number of years ago, in some parts of Europe, CEDIA launched,
with the financial aid of the Commission, the ATTEA (Agro Technology
Transfer by European Agronomists) project. The aim was to provide
the opportunity for young graduates to participate in a remunerated
temporary position of six to twelve months in another European country.
International experience continues to be promoted by Cedia not,
alone does it provoke a technology transfer between the regions
concerned but it also allows for the development of international
knowledge and inter–cultural and communication skills which
stimulate international business and development.
In 1994, CEDIA
wrote the Charter for the European Agronomist. This document, which
sets out some basic principles, is still most relevant today. It
explains the ethical responsibilities and duties of every agronomist.
These are focused on a number of important issues of direct relevance
to mankind: production, both quantitatively and qualitatively, of
food for a growing world population and on the respect for the environment
and natural resources, energy requirements and climate change.
globalisation and the enlargement of the EU to include Central and
East European countries, these issues have become even more important.
Most of these latter member states and candidates countries have
a large agricultural potential, a lot can to be done to improve
production, to preserve resources and to enhance rural development.
For CEDIA the expansion of its membership to include representation
from these countries as well as extending its horizons to participation
on the world stage of agronomists by way of membership of AIMA is
now a major priority.
also preoccupies Cedia. It is that of curriculum development and
of the studies, which lead to our degrees and qualifications. Recent
declarations of political and university leaders oblige us to be
extremely alert towards the quality of the future of our education
and training of our profession. In this regard co-operation and
collaboration with other professional associations is regarded as
being most important.
Over 20 years
of CEDIA activity has proven the need for an agreed and coordinated
approach - a real European platform for our members and member associations.
We have had many common issues, demands and duties, the solution
to many of which, were found through organised international collaboration.