On “Europe Day”, Ferma has launched a new manifesto outlining the key risk management priorities for the upcoming European elections

The federation, which represents 21 member associations across Europe and more than 5,000 risk managers says it is keen to promote awareness of the European election and to encourage the risk management community to engage with the candidates before rather than after the vote.

Jo Willaert, Ferma president and Ifrima chairman explains: “Of course the immediate reason [that we’re decided to launch our manifesto yesterday –9 May ] was in the context of the European elections. We wanted to draw attention to their importance.

“In respect of the day-to-day life and regulation, these elections are more important than people think. It doesn’t matter whether you are for or against Europe – the fact is that these representatives make our life, so it’s crucial to influence their decisions.

“This is one of our missions, to follow the European debate and to be part of the discussion, and make sure that risk managers understand that it is important that they are aware of the consequences for their businesses.”

Typhaine Beaupérin, Ferma chief executive, added: “In Brussels, it is very common for trade associations to have these manifestos, putting forward the priorities they would like the new European parliament to focus on for the next term. Our number one mission is to represent the profession to Brussels and this is a a way to proactively be part of the debate.”

The manifesto highlights four key priorities for European leadership: digital transformation to exploit growth, securing transition to a sustainable economy, risk management education and a stable insurance market.

These priorities were developed based on the work that Ferma has been carrying out with its member associations over the past few years. Each aim also comes with a list of demands for European policymakers.

European leadership in digital transformation to exploit growth

  • Increase preparation of businesses for cyber risks by proposing incentives
  • Anticipate the consequences of emerging digital tools on businesses
  • Develop solutions for SMEs because not all businesses can have a cyber security unit

European leadership to secure transition to a sustainable economy

  • Continue to support and drive forward the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris agreement and acknowledge the value of professional risk management to improve resilience in the face of increasing disaster risks
  • Support risk management readiness in all organisations, public and private, and of all sizes
  • Recognise that professional risk management can enhance sustainability and provide a competitive advantage for organisations seeking finance as the EU promotes investment in sustainable economic activities
  • Avoid a burden for SMEs - reporting requirements must be proportional

European leadership and risk management education

  • Encourage public and private organisations - notably SMEs - to develop their knowledge and competencies in risk management
  • Ensure European-wide offer of risk management education

European leadership for a stable insurance market

  • Promote consistent application of insurance regulation across member states especially the proportionality principle with regard to small and less complex insurance ventures
  • Ensure any proposals to reduce the insurance protection gap respect the proportionality principle and allow flexibility to enterprises with a mature risk management in place

The report says: “We wish to bring our unique expertise in enterprise risk management (ERM) to support EU policy makers over the next institutional mandate to respond to the future with confidence and support the transformation and resilience of Europe’s economy.

“In this short document we outline the views and concerns of the national risk management associations on matters which will be debated by policy makers in the EU institutions during their next mandate.”

Looking forward, Ferma says that in the near future the manifesto will be used to influence the European elections and then once the votes are in it will form the bedrock of lobbying and engagement with the new elected officials.

Beaupérin explains: “We will use the manifesto over the coming weeks to raise awareness of EU elections and their importance and then after we will use it to deal with newly elected MEPs and new people in the EU commission.

Willaert added: “Many people don’t know that there will also be changes to the EU commission. But there will be a new leader and then each member state will appoint a new commissioner who will have a portfolio and the directors normally change. We will use this paper to convey our priorities and make sure they are included in the agenda for the coming years.”

One of the central foundations of the report is around education and the professionalisation of the risk management industry, something which has been a top priority for FERMA for years.

In 2018, the organisation developed a developed a European Professional Risk Management Certification setting the standard of professionalism for risk practitioners. This is endorsed by the 22 member organisation – but FERMA is keen to make sure that professionalism is top of mind across Europe.

Willaert said: “Education and the professionalisation of risk managers is crucial. We want all risk managers to have professional training. In the EU context this is exactly what FERMA is standing for.

“The EU has a role to play – in promoting the recognition of professionalisation. If you look at the EU, two things are important. The first is to have the same standards across Europe and the second is to make sure the quality of those standards is high. Education is crucial to achieve our task. FERMA’s mission is to work in Europe for Europe. Risk managers should be ready to follow the trend.

“We already have more than 100 risk managers who have passed the [European risk management certification] test and are REMAP certified. These standards mean it is possible for any risk manager to show that whatever country they come from that they are capable to take on the function of Risk Manager in any company in Europe.”