The EAN Liaison Committee (LC) is the meeting point and link for all those activities and contacts the EAN has with neurology related and other societies. The LC thus creates the platform for all elements of EAN’s external work to come together. The LC maintains existing as well as creates new contacts with societies related to the field of neurology.
- EAN Policy Manual
In order to guide EAN’s work and ensure the application of the internal operational decisions taken by the Board, a draft EAN Policy Manual has been written. As chair of the Liaison Committee and Board Member of the EAN, Prof Vodusek was closely involved in the writing of several of the Policy Manual’s chapters. The Policy Manual will be the referral document for e.g. EAN’s interaction with other scientific societies, communication policies aso, and is a “living document” that will be adapted and changed according to the working policy of the EAN.
- EAN & National Neurological Societies
It is EAN’s goal to improve the working with the National Neurological Societies (NNS). A major effort towards better cooperation and reciprocal exchange of information on available educational opportunities and plans was made.
Special attention was given to the website of the NNS and the presence of links to the EAN website, information on future EAN congresses, educational opportunities etc. Of the 45 NNS that were contacted, 38 provided information but many could send in only partial answers to the questions. 10 societies have no website.
Following Prof Deuschl’s letter to all Presidents and delegates of the NNS suggesting the presence of an EAN Board Member at their annual meeting, EAN was present at the following meetings:
- Austria, France, Germany, Moldova, Turkey (visited by G. Deuschl)
- France, Luxemburg (visited by D. Leys)
- United Kingdom (visited by H. Cock)
- Slovenia (visited by D. Vodusek)
- The Netherlands (visited by M. De Visser)
The EAN Congress and the Council of Delegates meeting will be an ideal occasion to set up contacts with those societies that have not yet replied to the exchange of information request. A renewed effort will be made to complete the missing information on the NNS. In the year to come, EAN will try to be present at more meetings of the NNS.
- EAN & Sub-Specialty Societies
EAN is the platform of excellence for European neurology. It is essential that it enhances working with neighboring specialties to neurology as well as neurology related disease specific societies at the European as well as international level. Contacts were made with and are actively being followed up with the following societies:
- Alzheimer Europe (J. Georges)
- FENS – Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (M. Amalric)
- EPA – European Psychiatric Association (W. Gaebel)
- EHF – European Headache Federation (D. Misikostas)
- ESO – European Stroke Organisation (V. Caso)
- AAN – American Academy of Neurology (T. Cascino)
- ILAE – Committee for European Affairs (M. Bialer)
- IASP – EFIC Study of Pain (H-R Treede)
- PAUNS – Pan Arab Union of Neurological Societies (Saeed Bohlega)
It is planned to widen this platform of neurology related societies and to envisage ways of working together.
- EAN & Promotion Exchange Agreements
EAN has been very active in promoting its work and activities. With the help of the EAN Head Office, many promotion exchange agreements have been signed. These agreements allow EAN to be present at the congresses of related scientific societies and make it possible, in exchange, for the scientific societies to be part of the EAN congress.
These exchanges can go from a reciprocal display of printed materials e.g. future congress information, on the literature tables to the exchange of a complimentary booth an actual presence of the society. Publicity banners on websites and/or publications relating to future congresses have also been included in the promotion exchanges.
- EAN & Associate Member Societies
EAN has a number of Associate Member Societies within geographical Europe and in the Mediterranean region.
Geographical Europe – Applications and requests for associate membership were received form:
9 national neurological societies of the following countries of the Mediterranean region obtained this membership status:
As part of the standing agreement, Prof G. Deuschl was invited to the 2014 PAUNS meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
A Special Session, specifically related to major Mediterranean pathologies is part of the EAN’s congress programme on a yearly basis. Following the Berlin congress, two more countries will be added to the above list:
The present agreement with the associate member societies and the benefits this agreement entails was reviewed during the Berlin congress.
- EAN & EMA:
- EMA regularly evaluates the status of its members and in 2014 before the merger EFNS was included within the EMA experts’ database.
- Representatives of EFNS and after the merger of EAN attended European Medicines Agency (EMA) Human Scientific Committees’ Working Parties with Patients’ and Consumers’ Organisations (PCWP) and Healthcare Professionals’ Organisations (HCPWP) joint meetings where clinical trial regulations, pharmacovigilance and off-label use of medication were topics.
- In October 2014, the annual report on EMA’s interaction with patients, consumers, healthcare professionals and their organisations was published on EMA’s website.
- As of 6 October 2014, European citizens can obtain information on suspected side effects, also known as suspected adverse drug reactions, of an additional 1,700 active substances contained in medicines approved in the European Union (EU) through a website maintained by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), www.adrreports.eu. The EMA has also published a leaflet in all official EU languages to encourage patients to report side effects (see EMA website).
- EAN was concerned by The EMA’s Pharmacovigilance and Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) recommendation strengthening the restrictions on the use of valproate medicines due to the risk of malformations and developmental problems in children exposed to valproate in the womb. EAN supported the view of the International League against Epilepsy stating that ‘All treatment decisions involve a discussion of benefits and harms of treatment options. In our view there are situations where the benefits of valproate can outweigh the risks specifically for some girls and women with IGE where valproate should not be seen only as a last resort treatment but rather as one of the first-line options. The ILAE would welcome the opportunity for further discussions of the proposed recommendations with EMA’ (click here for more information). A joint Task Force of ILAE-Commission on European Affairs and European Academy of Neurology (EAN) issued a Pre-Publication Summary of Recommendations on Valproate in the treatment of epilepsy in women and girls. The recommendations have been published in Epilepsia (2015 Apr 8).
In 2014, EMA has invited neurological experts for reviews of educational material or participation in workshops. e.g. on The latest advances in the understanding of the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s Disease and novel treatment approaches.
Dr H. Cock took part in the EMA meeting of June 4th dedicated to Medicines Agency Human Scientific Committee’s Working Party with Healthcare Professionals’ Organisations (HCPWP) meeting.
- EAN Sub-Committee on European Affairs
The activities of the above sub-committee, coordinated by Prof W. Oertel, will be published separately.
- EAN & EFNA
The report submitted by Mrs. Kathelijne van Doorne, delegate of EFNA to the Liaison Committee will be published separately.
- EAN Neuropenews –The EAN Neuropenews 2014 – 2015 report is to be received
- EAN Website
In October 2014, PD Dr Tim von Oertzen was appointed as EAN website editor in chief.
A critical analysis of our current website revealed that the website is not easy to navigate, there is a lot of information which is sometimes difficult to find and its design could be improved with regard to the identification of the EAN. The proposal of what the website should represent, what it should deliver to the members and the public and its future options of functionality was presented at the February 2015 board meeting of EAN .
The proposal is based on easy navigation (across all devices), new content (e.g. guideline reference center, resource center of rare diseases, web conferencing facilities) and strong interaction with the members, NNS, associated societies and the public. The board approved the proposal, and decided to purchase the domain EAN.org, which is regarded as the ideal domain for our website.
A tender document was created for the redevelopment of the website and a number of companies were invited to submit a bit. Out of the five bits received two companies were chosen, one with a focus on brand development making sure that the EAN website is reflecting the strong clinical, scientific and educational capabilities of our organisation (Closer London, UK) and a second company for the website programming (Zeros+Ones, Germany).
The branding company made a detailed assessment of the actual EAN brand by interviewing board members – telephone conferences – and having a workshop in Vienna. A vision on EAN’s branding was created reflecting the EAN values resulting in a further development of the logo. Additionally a tagline was developed, supporting the logo: „EAN – the home of neurology”. This suggestion was successfully accepted and approved by the board.
The evolvement of the logo widened the discussion to the branding not only of the website but of EAN. It was accepted, that the further evolvement and change of the present EAN logo will be gradually introduced, first on the website and in time on all other EAN design materials.
Closer London produced a design book, which will instruct any future designers on the corporate identity, look and feel of the new EAN design. Furthermore, Closer London was also instructed to create an “EAN brand book”, which summarises EAN’s ambitions.
Due to the tight timeline for presenting some results at the Berlin meeting, we started parallel to this process with the company Zeros+Ones to develop the new EAN website. Two workshops were held, one in Munich and one in Vienna, and several web conferences took place identifying the new structure of the website as well as its design. Provided the acceptance of the current tagline by the board, we will be able to present a click dummy of the new website, structure and design in Berlin. Prof G. Deuschl presented the new logo and the website during the Berlin Congress’ opening ceremony, several other activities were organised at the EAN booth and around the congress venue creating thus awareness and giving a teaser to the congress participants and members of the EAN of the new logo and website, which will be launched in a near future.
- EAN LC & plans for the future
It is the LC’s principle to cooperate closely with the EAN President and Board. Therefore, all of LC’s activities will be proposed to, approved by and reported to the EAN President and Board;
- Enhance the contacts of EAN with the National Neurological Societies (NNS)
- ensure the presence of EAN at the annual meetings by targeting a specific cluster of NNS to be contacted at the Assembly of Delegates in Berlin;
- ensure the visibility of EAN on the NNS websites, newsletters, blogs through Promotion Exchange Agreements;
- inform the LC members and EAN Board of the progress made.
- Enhance the contacts of EAN with neurology related scientific societies on the basis of a target group of societies identified by the LC and approved by the EAN Board;
- Encourage the EAN Neuropenews initiative:
- as EAN’s window on the world by securing close cooperation with the Editor in Chief;
- ensuring the shared links to Neuropenews with the Scientific Societies EAN sets up working agreements with;
- Be actively involved and informed on the advances made with the EAN website.
The present report was unanimously approved by the members of the Liaison Committee at its meeting during the 1st EAN Congress in Berlin – 22 June 2015.