G. VAN DEN BERGHE (B) joined CESP in 1979 and was president from 1987 to 1988. To him we owe the new name of CESP (Confederation of European Specialists in Paediatrics). It had indeed become absolutely necessary to extend the purely trade-union function of this association and to be able to propose a European model of training for paediatricians. In order to achieve this, it was essential to integrate representatives from national paediatric societies. This is how after several years of work, he drew up the remarkable document “Paediatric Training in the EC”, published in 1990. Besides it is this survey which served as the basis for the setting-up of the “European Board of Paediatrics” under the presidency of L. HARVEY (UK) and for the adoption of the latter’s statutes in Saint Vincent in 1993 under the presidency of M. DE LOURDES LEVY (P).
We owe to H. HELWIG (D) the revision of the former statutes of 1972 and for having the new CESP statutes adopted in 1995 in Interlaken. He also contributed to the evolution of the harmonization of children’s vaccinations, a programme launched in 1984 under the presidency of J.-C. SCHAACK (L).
After the publication of a first brochure in 1987 and an updated version in 1992, J.-C. SCHAACK (L) coordinated the working group, which drew up in 1997 the third version of “Harmonization of children’s and adolescents’ vaccinations in the European Union”. He also encouraged the creation of a CME working group in charge of continuing education in paediatrics.
During these years, with the enlargement of the European Union to 15 countries, with the participation of Austria and Switzerland as member countries, and with the progressive increase in the number of observer countries, the structure of CESP had to be adapted.
It was in 1985, following the sudden death of E. DUYCK (B), that J.-C. SCHAACK (L) became secretary-general. In order to improve the transparency of functions, he asked for the creation of a post of treasurer. From 1984 to 1993, this post was entrusted to G. DE BETHUNE (B), followed by L. DEFLANDRE (B) from 1994 to 1998.
For 15 years, he put all his energy into having CESP recognized as the spokesman of European paediatricians. During these years, he developed contacts with other European paediatric organizations, (UNEPSA, APEE, ESPR, ESSOP, CLUB INT. PED. SOCIALE, SERPA), but mostly with European scientific societies of new paediatric specialties. He encouraged exchanges with European paediatric surgeons and child psychiatrists by inviting them to annual meetings. He took part in numerous national paediatric congresses in order to promote the knowledge of CESP, explain the advantages of the European Board of Paediatrics and improve the vaccinations of European children by harmonizing programmes. He also created the working group on the prevention of accidents with children and in 1996, he coordinated the EURECAAPP survey, conducted by CESP with the help of international experts and financed by the Commission.
R. KURZ (A) joined CESP in 1989. In 1997-1998 he set up, as president, a working group on ethics in paediatrics. He coordinated the work leading to the publication of several articles in the Eur. J. Pediatr., which were quite remarkable.
As from 1993, J. RAMET (B) took an active part in the work of CESP. Thanks to his competence and dynamism, he became in that same year the president of the European Board of Paediatrics and progressively integrated the various groups of paediatricians responsible for primary, secondary and tertiary care. Thanks to his organization skills and his ability to bring together the various groups, he successfully integrated child organ disciplines into the structure of CESP and had paediatric specialties recognized by the UEMS by creating subsections within CESP. In 1999, he gave up his post to become secretary-general. He contributed to the further development of relations with the American Academy of Pediatrics and was in charge of promoting the AAP Prep Programme in Europe.
In 40 years, CESP has become a big European medical organization but has still much progress to make in order to be able to function like the American Academy of Paediatrics, i.e. in order to become the spokesman and advocate of children in the European Union.
In order to bring itself up to this level and be able to bear one day the name of “European Academy of Paediatrics”, it needs to have the financial means adapted to its main missions, which are the training of paediatricians, the excellence of care and the improvement of the quality of life of children and adolescents in Europe.