Thanks to a change in the FERMA bylaws in June, risk managers and organisations from outside FERMA member countries can now be part of the discussion about European risk issues if they have an interest in risks in Europe.

Managing risk in Europe is important far outside its boundaries, because the EU is the world’s largest trading block, and all business with member states has to take place within the framework of EU-origin regulations.

FERMA, of which I served as president for four years and now act as technical advisor, is the principal organisation lobbying the European institutions on risk management issues. The new group of individual and corporate members will be able to contribute their views to the case that FERMA puts to the European Commission on specific proposals.

Consider the importance of risk management in proposals from the European Commission that FERMA is commenting on this year: cyber security, financial security for natural and man-made disasters and industrial pollution, transparency of the broker-client relationship and company reporting of non-financial issues, such as the environment.

As these topics show, risk management transcends national borders; risk managers across the world really have much in common.

FERMA is, therefore, working with the International Federation of Risk and Insurance Management Associations (IFRIMA) on the creation of a portable, international recognition of enterprise risk management competence.

This clearly is a long term project, but it’s one that can be another step to securing recognition of risk management as a discipline as important as internal audit or internal control.

Marie Gemma spent 23 years as a corporate risk manager for Belgian-based international materials group Bekaert and as a leading member of FERMA. She is now its scientific advisor. She is a member of the board of Belfius Bank and Insurance, a board member of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) and a risk management professor at the ENPC MBA in Paris.

For more information on the new category of membership WATCH THE INTERVIEW WITH PIERRE SONIGO