Interview: EAU Membership Office Chairman Prof. Igor Korneyev

05 February 2013

As an association, the EAU’s power, scope and effectiveness are heavily dependent on its members. Raising the level of urological care in Europe and representing the interests of Europe’s urologists requires constant input, and a healthy number of members. Prof. Igor Korneyev, Chairman of the Membership Office explains how the EAU relies on its members, and, in turn, what is has to offer them.

Reasons for joining

“We now have more than 14,500 members, so you could say that each member has his or her own personal reasons for joining! Generally speaking, membership of the EAU is attractive for the knowledge that it passes on to its members.”

The EAU organises several major urology-related events every year, from its Annual Congress to its specialised Section Meetings, and Regional Meetings to Masterclasses from the European School of Urology. EAU members naturally benefit from significant discounts when participating. The meetings bring together global experts in the field, and act as a forum for presentation and discussion. Masterclasses are an important way for urologists to hone their skills and earn CME credits. The EAU also publishes internationally respected medical guidelines through its Guidelines Office. These are updated annually and have been translated into over twenty languages.

Members also receive the world’s most-referenced urological journal, European Urology, the Association’s own newspaper, European Urology Today and various digital newsletters.

Membership and General Assembly

The EAU offers several kinds of membership to accommodate urologists in every phase of their career. “Beside the regular, full membership, we offer a junior membership for residents and urologists-in-training. We have international memberships for non-European urologists and residents as well. Specialists in other fields are invited to become affiliate members. Finally, we have Honorary membership for urologists who have made significant contributions to the field. Honorary members are recommended by the executive committee and approved by the EAU board.”

Applying for membership is very easy, it takes place through a fully automated online process. Members can also voice their opinion and influence decisions through the EAU General Assembly. The General Assembly is required to be held once a year, and generally it takes place on the occasion of the Annual EAU Congress. It is convened and presided over by the Secretary General and can be attended by all Active and Honorary members. The obligatory items for the agenda are the minutes of the previous General Assembly, and reports of the Secretary General, Treasurer and the external auditors. At a General Assembly, members may also raise for the purpose of discussion a matter or matters not referred to on the agenda.

Developments and challenges in Membership

The EAU has members on every continent, having over the years become a truly global Association. It has close ties to
national urological societies the world over, offering exchange programmes for residents, international scholarship opportunities and joint meetings.

“We can expect future growth of our Association once the EAU is recognised by urologists on a personal basis. The EAU is also strengthening its ties with national urological societies, coordinating training and the establishment of standards of practice. In some cases, this then leads to en-bloc membership of the EAU.”

Within Europe, the percentage of urologists who are members of the EAU varies greatly between countries. “Generally speaking, membership is higher in Western and Central Europe, with more scope for growth in Eastern Europe. Fluency in English, the membership fee and travel costs have previously been barriers to joining, but this is changing. Translation of the EAU Guidelines, financial support for prospective members in low-currency countries and the availability of educational grants and scholarships has led to an increase in membership.”

Taking concerns seriously: the influence of members

The members have a clear voice in EAU policy, and the Membership Office keeps an eye on several indicators to ensure it addresses the needs of the members appropriately. Korneyev: “Timely payment of membership fees is a good indicator of positive feedback. We also monitor the number of applications for the Annual EAU Congress and our educational programmes, such as masterclasses and ESU courses. Submissions to European Urology are another indicator.”

“We monitor these trends and present them at EAU Board meetings, which take place at least twice a year. Concerns from our members are taken on board and taken into account when setting out policy.”