The Opening Session for the Annual Meeting of EULAR has already a history and is quite predictable, but this time we were greeted in Latin. So Prof. Cutolo, the current president of EULAR, started in an unusual way: „Salvete, medici totius Europae totiusque orbis terrarum!“ (Welcome doctors from Europe and all the world!)
The short history of EULAR and what it is today showed some new insights. EULAR spans across 47 nations and keeps contacts with other organizations like ACR, PANLAR, ILAR, APLAR, WHO, EMA etc., as well as patients' organizations.
EULAR has a vision for:
- Research (EULAR will be the central platform for basic and clinical in rheumatology)
- Education (EULAR will offer high level education for physicians, health professionals, and the people with the diseases)
- Meeting (EULAR will broaden the reach of the meeting)
- Advocacy (EULAR will have significant influence on EU level, assist actions on national levels towards improving research funding, social policy legislation, quality of care)
- Standards of care (EULAR recommendations and criteria for rheumatic diseases)
- Profile (EULAR will raise its profile to be more visible to patients and health care providers)
- National Relations (EULAR will engage even more in national societies).
High set, but reachable goals.
Prof. Cutolo looked first at the numbers of abstracts – in 2000 (Nice) 850 abstracts and now over 4300. He then looked at the quality of the abstracts and found out that the quality was improving, too.
The cultural program has been predictable – Italian opera. How come, I was thinking of „Friends of the Italian Opera“ (Some like it hot – by Billy Wilder)? Nevertheless the program was well received and the selection had been standards that most people would know. Really enjoyable.
And there had been space for awards. One award (Abstract Basic Science) was going to a twitter friend: Philip Robinson (@philipcrobinson) from Australia. Congratultions!
The rest of the evening was dedicated to a social gathering in the EULAR garden. I talked with some German rheumatologists, whom I don't see regularly.