Dear members of the EUEW Community,

After a long and memorable trip through unprecedented times for all current generations, I dare to hope that better times lie ahead.

To be honest, when I accepted the position of EUEW Vice-President and was looking forward to my years as EUEW President, I never imagined I was going to embark on such an elaborate journey. I am sure that my predecessors would agree that I drew the shortest straw with the timing for my mandate as EUEW President. However, I would like to tell them that they would be mistaken.

Difficult, complicated and with unique challenges are words that do describe most of my mandate as President of the EUEW so far. Nevertheless, I can also describe my mandate as original, innovatory, dynamic, complex, and fast-paced. Despite the hardship EUEW had to endure during the past two years, this historical federation is now becoming a much stronger voice in the wholesalers’ industry, and this is happening also thanks to you. EUEW has embraced a much more sustainable approach to its overall functioning, and it has become one of the boldest European organizations, daring to go ahead with the organization of the EUEW Annual Business Convention in 2021, one of the very few, in person, networking events of the industry this year. EUEW is also part of an ecosystem that currently delivers the precious fruit of working closer together with our members and our peers. At present, EUEW has a lot more supporters, friends, and partners than ever before and the relations built are much closer and much more enduring. All these developments are the result of the contribution and determination of the members of the EUEW Presidium, EUEW Board of Directors and EUEW Advisory Council to keep this organization strong. The result, an even stronger EUEW than anyone had hoped for, with business that really catches up rapidly in spite of headwinds such as malfunctions in the supply chain and high inflation.

Although I am slowly preparing for the second part of my mandate, my intention is to continue to enjoy what is left with all that might come, good or bad. I am prepared for it. And this message is meant to reassure you that EUEW is stronger and more determined than ever to continue this successful path and so am I.

Before I proceed to my final words, I would like to welcome my dear colleague Eric Piers on board, as the new Secretary General of the EUEW. Being already very busy with his own work as part of the Belgian national association of wholesalers, Eric has offered to lend the EUEW a hand. This is a decision for an initial period of 6 months, until a more permanent solution is found. However, given the experience of Eric in the industry, I am sure that these 6 months will be enough for him to leave a personal print and make a difference.

Looking forward to meeting you all in Barcelona!

Alexander Dewulf