During the recently held 26th Annual EAU Congress in Vienna, the EAU Executive and the members of the EAU International Relations Office had the opportunity to confer with many international urological societies.The Canadian and Chinese urological societies were very pleased with the Exchange Programmes that were held for the first time in the weeks leading up to the EAU Annual Congress. Each society offered several of their fellows an opportunity to take part in a European tour, allowing them to visit several European academic centres and to attend the Annual EAU Congress.
In general, the societies very much appreciated the access the EAU offers to educational and scientific information. Education was an important topic, particularly the composition of a Core Curriculum for Urology. The EAU is currently designing a Core Curriculum, and this will be presented at the 27th Annual EAU Congress in Paris, 2012. The curriculum will serve as a recommendation for national urological societies to base their policies and programmes on. Beyond Europe, such a curriculum would serve as a guide for the development of urological practice.
There is an increasing interest in the superspecialisations within the EAU, as combined in the EAU Section Office. This interest also extends to the recently formed EAU Young Urologists Office, specifically the programmes the EAU organises for Young Urologists. This EAU initiative has sparked interest beyond Europe for starting similar programmes. The YUO has also been asked to participate in joint meetings with existing organisations.
Many of the societies that the EAU talked to are suffering from heavy restrictions on corporate sponsorship. This is a growing trend, experienced by societies not only in Europe but throughout the world. Increased government legislation designed to curb the involvement of sponsors has made international cooperation more difficult in several ways. Securing the attendance of urologists at international meetings has required certain new approaches. The EAU has been anticipating the new legislature, and aims to help keep international cooperation optimal.
It became clear from the meetings that many societies have shifted their focus from North America to Europe. This trend started a few years ago but seems to be ongoing. The EAU has received increased interest in its educational and support programmes, and has been commended for its constructive approach to international collaboration.
The EAU greatly appreciates the enthusiasm and input of all these societies whether they are recently founded societies – like the Lusophone Urological Confederation – or have existed for many years already like the Mexican Society of Urology or even the Chinese Urological Association and the Japanese Urological Association. The Japanese Urological Association will celebrate its 100th Anniversary in 2012. The EAU very much values the opinions of the societies – be they European or non-European. Their input helps the EAU to design its policies for the near future and is therefore of great importance.