Dear Colleagues,

The next EULAR Annual European Congress of Rheumatology will take place between the 14 and 17 June 2017 in Madrid, Spain. The annual EULAR Congress continues to be a major event in the calendar of world rheumatology, and Madrid 2017 will again provide a unique event for the exchange of scientific and clinical information. It will be a platform to facilitate interactions between patients, medical doctors, scientists, health professionals, and professionals representing the pharmaceutical industry both from within Europe and from around the world. In addition, we will also see the first results of our new initiatives regarding the EULAR School of Rheumatology, the EULAR Campaign and the EULAR Research Roadmap "RheumaMap".

EULAR Congresses have received tremendous interest in terms of participation and quality of contributions. This also reflects the availability of increased information on the impact, burden and cost of these diseases for society, and a significantly improved ability to diagnose and treat them. The incorporation of health professional and patient organisations within EULAR has been a considerable stimulus for these advances. This integration will facilitate the implementation of recommendations for management/standards of care of musculoskeletal disorders in daily practice of which we have seen prime examples in the London EULAR Congress.

The EULAR Congress 2017 in Madrid will once again offer a wide range of topics including clinical innovations, clinical translational and basic science. In addition, there will be meetings organised by People with Arthritis and Rheumatism in Europe (PARE), by Health Professionals in Rheumatology (HPR) and by the health care industry. The central activity of the congress will be poster presentations and poster tours with their highly interactive exchanges among participants. The Madrid event will further strengthen the reputation of the EULAR Congress as a highly innovative and informative venue for clinical and translational researchers not only within the different facets of our discipline (e.g., inflammation, pain, bone, mechanical and inflammatory disorders). The Madrid meeting will further promote the reputation of the EULAR Congress as a most innovative and informative venue for clinical research for the practising physician. In addition, the EULAR EMEUNET organisation of young rheumatologists will also attract young colleagues to the meeting and will disseminate the message that rheumatology is one of the most attractive and successful disciplines of medicine.

We are very happy to visit the city of Madrid for the second time. In 2013 we were impressed by the magnificent ambiance of astonishing architecture, galleries, museums, theatres and culinary pleasures – and as a football fan I must add sports events - under Southern skies. Thus, Madrid will again provide an excellent background for scientific and clinical exchanges, international collaborations and renewal of friendships. We will take great pleasure in welcoming medical doctors, patients, health professionals and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry to EULAR 2017, and hope that their stay in Madrid will be informative, educational and, last but not least, enjoyable.

Gerd R. Burmester
President of EULAR