The EFNS Management Committee meets twice a year, once at our Annual Congress, and once in early March in our Vienna Head Office. We have just held our March 2013 meeting and had a busy agenda. Some highlights:
- The plans for the World Congress of Neurology in Vienna from September 21st to 26th this year are complete. We are co-hosting the congress with the Austrian Neurological Society. Make sure to register in good time at www2.kenes.com/wcn/Pages/Home.aspx. I have visions of the attendance equalling or exceeding the last time we hosted a World Congress in Europe. This was in 2001 in London when more than 7000 attended.
- The Congress Programme Committee chaired by Professors Jacques de Reuck and Gustave Moonen have outlined an exciting programme for the EFNS-ENS Joint Congress of European Neurology in Istanbul from May 31st to June 3rd 2014. I anticipate a very large attendance there too. Make sure it is in your diaries: www.JointCongressofEuropeanNeurology.org.
- The first EAN congresses will be in Berlin from June 20th to June 23rd 2015 with subsequent congresses in Copenhagen in 2016 and Amsterdam in 2017.
2. The European Academy of Neurology (EAN) will be formed at the EFNS-ENS joint congress in Istanbul in 2014 when its first Assembly will elect its Board including its President. The EFNS and ENS will be dissolved at the same moment. The EAN Assembly will consist of 45 national delegates and 45 individual members elected from the ENS membership. Nominations for the officers will be sought in October 2013. It will be important that the new President has not held senior office in either the EFNS or ENS to launch the new organisation free of bias. The first Assembly will be a historic occasion as the two great European neurological associations join forces. The Transition Task Force (Claudio Bassetti, Switzerland; Jacques de Reuck, Belgium; José Ferro, Portugal; Detlef Kömpf, Germany; Gustave Moonen, Belgium; Gunhild Waldemar, Denmark) are meeting regularly to make sure that the move from two organisations to one is seamless and that the congresses, teaching courses and other programmes for 2015 to 2017 are prepared.
3. Our regional teaching courses this year will be in Odessa, Ukraine from April 25th to 27th and Ohrid, FYRO Macedonia from May 16th to 18th. The EFNS Spring School will take place as usual in Staré Splavy from May 9th to 12th under the indefatigable leadership of Professor Pavel Kalvach. The European Neurological Society, International Brain Research Organization, Movement Disorders Society, World Federation of Neurology, World Stroke Organisation, and American Academy of Neurology will join our team led by Professor Erich Schmutzhard, Austria, to create the EFNS-led regional teaching course in Dakar, Senegal.
4. All the events taking place in May, including the Ohrid course and EFNS Spring School, will form part of the official European Month of the Brain under the Irish Presidency of the European Council. If your country is holding major events in May which you would like to be badged as supported by the European Union please let me know via the Head Office.
5. The European Brain Council, on which Professor Moonen and I serve as the neurological representatives, plans a European Year of the Brain in 2014. Again if your country is holding major events next year please let us know.
6. The Guideline Production Group chaired by Professor Michael Brainin, Austria, continues to support guideline production. As part of this effort they have produced new guidance for the methods for producing guidelines including the latest methods for Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ene.12043/abstract). 82 guidelines have now been published and are heavily cited making a major contribution to the impact factor of the European Journal of Neurology.
7. The EFNS owns the European Journal of Neurology and the Transition Task Force have determined that it will be the official journal of the EAN. It will be subtitled Journal of the European Academy of Neurology.
8. Finally money makes Europe as well as the world go around. The EFNS is bound to have a financial deficit in 2013 since we usually rely on income from our own congress and will only have a 25% share of any income from the World Congress. Despite this the Management Committee decided to use our reserves to continue to support our usual teaching activities and to increase the number of research fellowships. The ENS has generously agreed to contribute to the cost of our philanthropic activities during the run-up to the formation of the EAN.