Welcome speech

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May 23, 2013 /

Speech by Alasdair Lewis to the ELRA General Assembly in Lisbon on 23 May 2013

Thank you all for asking me to be the President of ELRA. It is an honour and a privilege.

I would like to start by paying tribute to the outgoing Board and to Wim in particular. Under your leadership the Association has gone from strength to strength. I hope that the new Board and I will be able to build on your legacy.

I firmly believe that organisations like ELRA are important. Although our legal systems and the land registries that we represent are different, we have much in common.

We all face similar challenges:

  • We are all having to operate with tight budgets against a backdrop of difficult economic circumstances.
  • We all have to cut red tape and help make our countries easy places to do business in
  • We all have to respond to the opportunities and challenges presented by new technology.
  • We all have to deal with the threats posed by fraud.
  • We are all challenged to look at alternative delivery models for the services we provide
  • We all have to balance the demand for public data, the protection of personal information and our need to be financially viable.
  • We all need to build capability to ensure that we remain resilient organisations.

Although we operate in different ways, it seems to me we all have the same public tasks:

  • First, to provide our citizens with the services they need to deal with land securely and with confidence.
  • Secondly, to achieve the policy objectives set by our governments.

As we have so much in common, it makes sense to me that we talk to each other, that we work together and that, when we can, we speak with a single voice on the European stage. ELRA allows us to do all of these things.

So what do I think ELRA needs to do over the next 2 years?

– We need to continue to reach out to those European land registries who either are not yet members or who are members but who do not yet play an active role

– We need to continue to engage with, and increasingly work in co-operation with, other organisation both within Europe and beyond

– We need to ensure that ELRA remains financially sustainable. This means asking more countries to contribute a little more.

– We need to work on projects that deliver results, that align with other European initiatives and that benefit both the land registries that we represent and the citizens we serve I am sure that by working together we can deliver all of these objectives.

Thank you!

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