European Confederation of Outdoor Employers (EC-OE)

International non-for-profit organisation (ivzw) – Belgium

Established: 30-08-2008 (Belgian Min. of Justice)

VAT: BE 0806.394.850


IBAN: BE85 7360 2084 9206

EU PIC code: 937478132

Contact details

p/a Herman Smulders (President)

Wolfshaegen 180

B-3040 Huldenberg


+ 32 (0) 495 534 534



Membership (only 1 employers federation / country)

Full members

Belgium: www.bfno.be

Czech Republic: (www. under construction)

France: www.francepleinair.fr

Greece: www.hateoa.gr

The Netherlands: www.vebon.nl

Portugal:  www.apecate.pt

Switzerland: www.swissoutdoorassociation.ch

Spain:  www.aneta.es

 Representing ± 13.000 outdoor companies (SME’s)

Associated members




EC-OE is a full member of the ‘Active Leisure Alliance’


EC-OE, which is devoid of any profit-making spirit, has the following objective:

To look after the interests of entrepreneurs established within the European Union that professionally offer and execute outdoor activities and related activities and that offer guidance to the participants of these activities;

To unite the federations of these entrepreneurs into a confederation;

To assist these federations in the realization of their objectives;

To represent, promote commercial outdoor activities, both to the public at large as to national and supra national authorities.

 In order to achieve its objective EC-OE aims at the following actions:

To organize consultation and cooperation between the federations in the EU member states that unite the ‘outdoor’ entrepreneurs and to inform them regarding commercial outdoor activities;

To take actions in order to promote commercial ‘outdoor’ activities, both to the public at large as to national and supra national authorities;

To negotiate with third parties for example the authorities in view of the sectors interests;

To establish, participate and enhance social dialogue at European level;

To intervene with the authorities, to consult and to inform them regarding the present or the future regulation concerning the execution of activities in the outdoor sector;

To install a European information and documentation centre;

To participate in research programmes;

To register and protect intellectual property rights relating to standards, definitions, rules, frameworks, procedures, norms … and any other common works and intellectual research published by its members.

Research projects & publications

EQFOA “European Qualification Framework for Outdoor Animators” (2006-2008): http://ec-oe.eu/?page_id=371

CLO2 “Professional training and mobility for Outdoor Animators …” (2008-2010): http://ec-oe.eu/?page_id=373

DG SANCO “Non-regulatory measures related to the safety of outdoor leisure activities in the EU” (2013): http://ec-oe.eu/?page_id=19  

ELESA “European Learning Syllabus for Outdoors Animators” (2013-2015): http://ec-oe.eu/?page_id=373

Smulders Herman, Defining the Outdoors (revisited in 2016): http://ec-oe.eu/?page_id=11

Smulders Herman, Feasibility study on an EU ‘safety audit’ system for the Outdoors, VP/2015/001/0333 “Supporting the test phase of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for sport and active leisure”, Berlin, 2017

Partner in the DIAL project “Dialogue in Active Leisure” (2014): DG EMPL (ref. VP/2012/001, bud. 04.03 03 01)

Associated partner in “Support for social dialogue” (2015): DG EMPL (ref. VP/2015/001, bud. 04.03 01 08))



ESCO (European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations):

Sector reference group “ Arts, entertainment and recreation”  

Cross sector reference group