Collaboration Across Europe: The EAU meets National Societies Meeting

Mon, 8 Jun 2015 • Loek Keizer

As every year, the EAU invited Europe’s national urological societies to a two-day meeting to discuss collaboration and Europe-wide topics in the field. Secretary General Prof. Chris Chapple welcomed the 50 delegates to “Costa del” Noordwijk (NL), which was in the middle of a rare heat wave on 5-6 June.

Prof. Chapple introduced the meeting, setting out the basic aims of the meeting and the EAU in general. “We want to represent urology in Europe, with -and through- national societies. Collaboration is essential for our field as funding diminishes.”

Prof. Chapple also commented on the need for longevity of the Association, and the strength of urologists in a multidisciplinary time. “We’ve set up a structured leadership programme to identify new leaders across Europe. We are surgeons, in danger being reduced to robot technicians. The urologist knows the patient best, and should be the leader of a multidisciplinary team.” Prof. Chapple and all other speakers made clear the need for critical input from the national societies. “Tell us what we can do.”

Members of the EAU’s executive spoke in turn, highlighting the Association’s many initiatives and emphasising the possibilities for collaboration between the EAU and individual National Societies.

Prof. Luis Martinez Pineiro, head of the EAU Section Office mentioned the possibility for interested EAU members to become affiliates, also citing the need for new blood. The Young Urologists Office is another way for less-experienced urologists to interact with the EAU and the field in general.

Other topics included the EAU Guidelines, Patient Information, Scholarship Programmes, the Educational Office and its European School of Urology, and the EAU’s efforts to play a leading role in influencing legislation on EU level.

On June 6th, feedback was collected from the National Societies, through lively break-out sessions. Topics that were of particular interest for the societies were the identity of the urologist in the multidisciplinary landscape, EU-level working time directives, and the need for the EAU to better inform urologists of its opportunities.

Currently, none of the national societies have direct ties to the European Union, so the EAU finds itself in the unique position to lobby for everyone’s interests in Brussels. Promotion of Urology as a field, acquiring funds for research and training, establishing standardised practice and influencing legislation, for example on working time directives are all issues that need to be addressed on a European level. National Societies are encouraged to share their experiences with legislation, in order to build a case for change.

A full, detailed report of the EAU Meets National Societies Meeting will be featured in the upcoming edition of European Urology Today.