Welcome to the EULAR 2020 E-Congress

Dr. Iain McInnes

Prof. Iain McInnes

Dear Friends,

It is my sincere pleasure to welcome you to the EULAR 2020 E-Congress! Two decades after the first annual congress, we are embarked upon a new and exciting course, albeit we would have preferred to meet in person. I am confident that you will find the e-congress to be a true celebration of scientific and educational excellence, offering updates at the cutting edge of the rheumatology field.

Our congress scientific committee, brilliantly led by Prof. John Isaacs and Prof. Loreto Carmona, have reworked the programme to provide a range of high-quality presentations, in mixed live and recorded format. By this means, you will be able to enjoy the immediacy of the congress itself but in addition will be offered time to reflect upon content for many weeks thereafter. We have also worked closely together with our corporate members to enable access to satellite symposia. Taken together, I am confident that the learning that we all so much appreciate in our annual meeting will be undiminished.

Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed unprecedented changes in our personal and professional lives. It was with great disappointment that we cancelled our congress planned in Frankfurt. As international and political events have evolved, it is clear that this decision was correct. Much energy and effort had already been expended, not least by our rheumatology colleagues in Germany, and to them I extend my sincere thanks for their unstinting commitment to EULAR and gracious acceptance of recent events. Thanks are due also to our corporate members for their understanding of the altered circumstances of this congress and for their flexibility in this matter. Finally, our staff in the EULAR office have worked wonders to bring the notion of a virtual congress from a “sparkle in our eye” to reality in just a few short weeks. To them I simply say – “Bravo!”

EULAR comprises three pillars – namely, societies representing PARE, health professionals, and medical and scientific professionals – and we are a community of people who care. EULAR remains utterly committed to meeting our 2023 strategic objectives in pursuit of better quality of life for people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. The EULAR School of Rheumatology goes from strength to strength with participants joining our courses from around the world. Shortly, we will launch our EULAR Virtual Research Centre to harmonise and energise the power of research across Europe. Working together, we continue to advocate on behalf of people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases in parliaments of national and transnational organisations. We celebrate our ongoing collaborations with fellow societies including ACR, AFLAR, APLAR, ILAR, and PANLAR. Addressing RMDs is a global imperative achieved best by working together!

I thank you for your understanding – rest assured that this will be a new, exciting, and exceptional experience. Needless to say, we will miss the personal encounter with you in 2020 but look forward to meeting you in Paris in 2021!

 

With very best regards,

Prof. Iain McInnes
EULAR President

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