EULAR 2021 Welcome message from the EULAR President
We live in the most interesting of times. Just as we long for the familiarity of prior years, so we are increasingly industrious, as we create our 'new reality' in the world of rheumatology. In so doing, we require remarkable flexibility and ingenuity as a discipline as we continue to combat the rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases, and to care for those afflicted to the utmost of our ability.
The EULAR family is similarly changing rapidly, not least as we adapt to life with COVID-19. 2021 will bring our new structure into reality optimized for the 21st century. This will better equip us to deliver on our major objectives, enshrined in the EULAR 2023 Strategy . As we deliver on those objectives, we seek to deliver world class education, to provide penetrating and effective advocacy to our political classes, to offer empathetic and comprehensive support to patients and to sustain the discovery research efforts that will ultimately lead to cures for people with RMDs. In particular, in the last few months EULAR, working together with our valued international partners, has responded vigorously to the crisis in the creation of the EULAR-COVID-19 Database, the elaboration of timely patient information and the publication of our provisional 'COVID-19 management' recommendations - representing a living document to ensure their relevance in this fast changing pandemic environment.
A new congress approach for June 2021 Paris?
The EULAR Congress has always been at the centre of our activities - it provides a critical forum for education, knowledge exchange, research innovation, networking and especially fostering friendships! We were obliged to meet in the virtual world in 2020, forsaking our highly anticipated visit to Frankfurt. Similarly, we plan to offer a ‘virtual congress’ in Paris in June 2021 though we hope to bring in twists of new experience. At its core, we will offer a virtual scientific and PARE programme that is outstanding – it will contain educational content that is contemporary, accessible and definitive. It will deliver research findings in the clinical, translational and basic domains that is world leading. It will provide online and in-person opportunities for networking, debate, engagement and feedback. Our faculty will represent the very best of global rheumatology. I offer one addendum to the above. Our format will provide for predominantly virtual attendance. We are however, continuing to examine possible face to face components as allowed by authorities and medical reality either in Paris or perhaps on a regional basis; these are a work in progress and will be communicated subsequently if we can invent that as a new reality.
Regardless, our planning has been extensive already and conducted in close liaison with the relevant international and French authorities. I record here my personal appreciation of the extraordinary work ongoing on the part of the EULAR Secretariat as they bring imagination, energy and industry to the preparation of our Congress 2021. Similarly, my thanks in advance to the gifted scientific chairs and Congress committee members who are working so hard to deliver excellence.
I look forward to welcoming you to Paris, virtually, in June 2021 to celebrate all that is good in rheumatology!
Wishing you safe times.
Iain B. McInnes