Dear colleagues in Europe and throughout the world,
The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed unprecedented changes in our personal and professional lives. After careful consideration and evaluation of the risks and alternatives, we have decided to cancel the face-to-face annual congress in Frankfurt in June this year. As a scientific medical society, it is our duty to ensure that our medical and health professional participants are available at the forefront of patient care. We are also concerned that bringing our RMD patient delegates into a large meeting venue would be extremely unwise at this time.
We remain committed however to meeting our scientific, educational and training obligations. For this reason, we are delighted to offer a virtual congress experience. This will be available online, probably starting from the regular congress date, Wednesday 3 June, 2020, and will be accessible on demand over a timeframe of several months.
We are fully aware that our face-to-face meeting is and will remain the ideal format to share knowledge and promote optimal solutions for clinical practice, research and patient care. However, in light of the pandemic, we see the virtual congress as the best alternative to keep the spirit of our global rheumatology community alive and to address urgent questions with immediate relevance for patient care. We will also publish abstracts/posters online and provide registered delegates with the one-year access to our journal, the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.
We are aware that this decision will have consequences for many of you. We ask you to be patient for a little while longer to give us the time to develop clear answers to all your questions. Our volunteers and staff in the EULAR Office are currently working hard to develop the best possible solutions for this new scenario.
I thank you for your understanding and hope to welcome as many of you as possible to our e-Congress as of June 2020. Rest assured that this will be an exciting, exceptional experience. We will offer a scientific programme of the highest level, put together by our top experts from all over the world, enriched with many additional options, including interactive opportunities. We are also working closely together with our corporate members in enabling access to satellite symposia. Needless to say, we will miss the personal encounter with you in 2020 but look forward to meeting you in Paris in 2021!
With very best regards
Prof Iain B McInnes