CLGE International Conference 2005 - European Professional Qualifications in Surveying

Brussels, Belgium, 1-2 December 2005

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The conference was held at the Royal Military Academy, Brussels. Participation to the conference exceeded all expectations.

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Henning Elmstrøm, President of CLGE and Klaus Rürup, immediate past president of CLGE charing the conference.

The Comité de Liaison des Géométres Européens (CLGE) or in English The Council of European Geodetic Surveyors organised a conference 1-2 December 2005 in Brussels with a focus on the European Professional Qualifications in Surveyors.

The conference was opened by a welcome address of Mr. Henning Elmstroem, President of CLGE. The programme then included a number of themes each with a number of high profile papers:

  • The Present Status of the Surveying Profession in Europe.
    Papers presented by Dr. Otmar Schuster, Germany, Andrea Liesenfeld, European Commission DG Internal Market and Services, Prof. Karl-Werner Schulte, Germany, Prof. Stig Enemark, Denmark, Mr. Hagen Graeff, Germany
  • Free Movement of Surveyors in Europe
    Discussion panel chaired by Dr. Paddy Prendergast, Ireland
  • Qualification for Authorised (Licensed) Surveyors
    Papers presented by Prof. Pedro Cavero, Spain, Mr. Jean-Cedric Landry, France, Mr. Volkmar Teetzmann, Germany
  • Models for Qualification
    Papers presented by Mr. Daniel de Brone, Belgium, Mr. René Sonney, Switzerland, Mr. Rob Mahoney, United Kingdom
  • The Future of the Surveying Profession in Europe
    Final discussion chaired by Prof. Stig Enemark, Denmark
  • Challenges for Civil Society
    Paper presented Philippe Busquin, Chairman of the Belgian National Mapping Agency, MEP and former Commissioner for Research.

All papers and presentations are available on the CLGE website at A final statement will be prepared and published at the website as well.

There was a clear message from the conference that the surveying profession throughout Europe is changing from a main focus on surveying and measurement science to spatial science and land management dealing with the management of rights, restrictions and responsibilities in land, where the property systems and the legal issues are the core element. In this perspective the future of the profession looks very promising.

The educational programmes change as well to focus on the provision of the qualifications and competences needed within this multidisciplinary area. What is not changing, however, is the public perception/image of the surveyor. The perception of the surveyor as person doing measurements (wearing green rubber boots) still stands. We will have to change that perception in order to make politicians understand the importance of the surveyors´ work as a central contribution to society, – and to attract a sufficient number of good students to enter the profession in the future. This is a key challenge facing the surveying profession.

Another key challenge was to establish an improved interaction between the regulated and the free market within the surveying area. This, again, should be motivated by an increased interaction between the private and public sector and based on strong principles of ethics. The surveyors must be able to not only manage within change but to manage the change itself. This should hopefully change the image of the surveyor into highly skilled and highly responsible problem solvers contribution to the development of the national societies as well as the European Community.

FIG was represented at this conference by Prof. Stig Enemark, Vice President of FIG and Prof. Pedro Cavero, Chair of FIG Commission 2.

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CLGE President Henning Elmstroem convey his thanks to the conference organiser Mr. Jean-Yves Pirlot, Secretary general of the Belgian Union of Land Surveyors.
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Prof. Pedro Cavero, Chair of FIG Commission 2 and Prof. Stig Enemark, Vice President of FIG represented FIG at the conference.

Stig Enemark
7 January 2006