Minutes of the General Assembly

EAP Winter Meeting – Saturday, 7 December, 2019

1. Welcome by Adamos Hadjipanayis and call to order

2. The Agenda was accepted

3. Minutes from the Spring Meeting were approved

    4. Report from the President, Adamos Hadjipanayis 

    4a IPA

    The president announced that IPA EC and IPA SC unanimously decided to officially give one of the two seats of the European region to EAP. The president gave an overview of the International Paediatric Association (IPA) for those who are less familiar:

    • The IPA represents paediatrics globallyThe EC consists of 9 members
    • The standing committee consists of 21 members
    • 7 regions (generally 2 representatives per region) + Subspecialties
    • Council of delegates (similar to the general assembly)

    4b Revision of the statute

    • The vision of the EAP is to speak with one voice in Europe and this is the main drive behind the changes in the statutes. The changes in the statutes have been in progress for two years. Following the Moscow agreement (signed in 2017). The discussions are paused at the moment.
    • Enlarging the EAP is our current vision. We would like to give an equal voice to all countries and prepare the society to speak with one voice.

     4c Supporting National Societies

     One of the further missions of the EAP: to support every European national society.

    • In 2019 the EAP supported Ukraine by increasing vaccine coverage by sending a letter to the Ministry of Health. 
    • In Cyprus a new National Health System has been implemented. There are still issues to be addressed. After the age of 15 children may be treated only by a GP, despite having a plethora of paediatricians (1 paediatrician for every 400 children). A letter has been drafted and sent to the Ministry of Health, the EAP hopes to see results by the beginning of 2020.
    • Hungary had an issue with the schedule of the chicken pox vaccine. The EAP prepared a letter in collaboration with the Vaccination Group.
    • The Netherlands: the country decided to provide the Rotavirus vaccine only to high risk infants. A letter was drafted and sent by the EAP to the authorities. On 27 November 2019 the EAP received a response that the strategy will be reconsidered until the end of 2020.

     4d Many more publications are on the way. The EAP is gradually increasing its visibility.

    4e Change for the EAP Journal

    Frontiers in Paediatrics (open access journal with impact factor of 2.3) will be the new journal associated with the EAP. According to the agreements signed, the EAP is permitted to publish 12 papers per year. From 2020 onwards, there will be a link on the website, and everyone will have access to the full text articles.

    4f Overview of the Porto EAP Mastercourse & Congress

    • It was a huge success
    • 1,462 participants
    • 86 countries (40 European countries – which is proof to what extent the EAP is becoming international)
    • EUR 112,000.00 income
    • 29 faculty members
    • 500 participants attended the master course
    • 175 Portuguese participants (the president expressed his gratitude to the Portuguese society)
    • Number of abstracts submitted are increasing steadily

    The next Mastercourse and Congress will take place in Amsterdam. Karoly Illy received the unanimous approval that the Dutch Society will support the congress in 2021Topics: vaccines and immunology and the work on the scientific programme will start soon.

    4g The Spring Meeting 2020
    The upcoming Spring meeting is going to be held in Malta on 29-30 of May 2020 at the Excelsior Hotel was announced.

    4h EAPS Congress
    The EAPS congress will take place in Barcelona, October 16th- 20th, 2020.

    The EAP has the chair of the scientific committee of the entire congress, the chairman will be Bert Koletzko, a special word of thanks was expressed to him for his contribution.Tom Stiris, who is representing the EAP as a member of the organizing committee of the EAPS, has been a member of the EAP and past president for many years.

    It was mentioned that there is room for improvement at the EAP to improve its position in embracing children, families and pediatricians. The importance of the “one-voice” strategy was accentuated and the joint need to unify the voices of the two major societies (EAP and EPA) to make a greater impact.

     Bert Koletzko further elaborated some of the obstacles: the leadership in every society should be bound to the voice of the members and democratic principles should be firmly in place. The participation of all members and the respect for the democratic structure is key. The societies were encouraged to formally protest any incident that may not reflect these democratic values (as in Dublin, where members were only invited to the General Assembly two weeks before the meeting). It was furthermore mentioned that not all societies are not linked to EPA and certain societies are falsely portrayed as members (without having paid dues – for example). A formal request should be made to be removed from the EPA website if this is the case.

        5. Report from the Secretary General & Executive Director (Stefano del Torso) Ann De Guchtenaere 

        The SG expressed how impressed she is with the volunteer work of the Executive committee and the amount of time that they dedicate to the cause of the EAP. She thanked the members of the committee for their support individually

        Daily activities of the Ex Dir/SG include:

        • Management of communication between SG and Secretariat;
        • Database (UEMS List)
        • EC meetings
        • EAP congress
        • EAP Winter meeting
        • IPA/EPA
        • Monthly meetings with LOW Europe (advocacy bureau: providing a lot of visibility & strategic communication for child health)
        • Collaboration with EU Institutions
        • Preparing the new statutes
        • Strategic communication consultancy: there have been mentions of a meeting with members of parliament

        With regards to Strategic Communication Consultancy

        • The EAP is trying to engage Brussels Stakeholders for potential EAP meetings.
        • A meeting will be set up with Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides and Members of Parliament 
        • The European stakeholders that were approached by EAP was listed EP election candidates/ members of parliament were encouraged to sign the Children’s Health Pledge

        The YEAP were thanked for their effort in writing monthly blogs and for their hard work to publicize the EAP on social media.

        Other Communication Includes

        • Press releases can be found on the website
        • Infographics (created by LOW) like the one for healthcare for migrant children
        • The antimicrobiotical awareness week was promoted on Twitter extensively
        • The 30 years of children’s rights also had many “followers” on Twitter

        Other Activities that the EAP Engaged in

        • EU collaborations were accentuated and the need for funding was expressed. The European Public Health Alliance was contacted to strengthen ties and the visibility of EAP (they market our congresses)
        • The Global Vaccination Summit – EAP participated
        • The presentation on Social media Hesitancy in the medical community and how to use social media in the medical world should be considered in the EAP communication strategy

        The SG pointed out several presentations and lectures that could impact child well-being and how it was addressed at the meetings (like the European health policy and success of prevention). This is proof that the message of the EAP is somehow filtering through the industry successfully.

        Future plans

        • Paediatric Training Programmes across Europe
        • YEAP plans”Childonomics” plans
        • The idea to make EAP congresses carbon neutral
        • Task force to work on funding opportunities for the EAP (EU influencing & EU funding)

        Ann was thanked for her representation at so many meetings and her contribution to the EAP.

        6. Financial Report by the Treasurer Arunas Valiulis 

        The treasurer accentuated the 3 different accounts that the EAP hold:

        • EAP/UEMS-SP UEMS account (Bank Paribas Fortis in Brussels)
        • EAP/UEMS-SP EAP account (Bank International of Luxembourg) consisting of:
          a. EAP Programme / Conferences subaccount
          b. EAP Individual membership subaccount

        The status and management of each of the accounts over the period of 5 years were discussed.

        The income structure of the EAP was discussed and the following points were accentuated after the discussion:

        • EAP has 41 paid EAP full and associated country members
        • There was no response for the request of payment of membership fees of 2018 from Albania, Russia and Greece (Hellenic Paediatric Society)
        • It is an obstacle that certain countries delay the payment of annual dues.

        Germany, France and Italy were thanked for their continued contribution to the EAP during the overview of contributions from different countries.

        The Treasurer mentioned that the EAP financial report is submitted to a professional auditor and to EMA yearly. EAP income is solely academic (from project activities and profit from congresses), there is currently no support from the industry. The proportion of funding allocated to travel grants and the YEAP was compared with the funding allocated to the Executive Committee / Board. It was accentuated that the amount is quite similar, demonstrating the EAP’s willingness to invest in the Young generation.

          7. New Statute  Adamos Hadjipanayis & Robert Ross Russell

           The rational for the modified statutes

          • EAP to open the doors to European non-EU countries.
          • EBP, UEMS Section of Paediatrics, should be distinct, but unified within EAP.
          • Young EAP will be officially represented in the EC with full voting rights.
          • All paediatricians that are members of European national societies represented in EAP, would automatically become members of EAP without membership fee.
          • We envision and pursue proactive collaboration with all other European societies to achieve the goal of one European strategical representation.

          The New statutes were distributed to all delegates to suggest changes in writing. Dr Rob Ross-Russel accentuated the importance of the discussion and getting the statutes right. At UEMS it was agreed that, as long as the modifications were sufficiently minor (words, grammar, etc.), it was perfectly reasonable for those present (at the GA) to make those changes instantly.During the meeting the assumption was that everyone had read the statutes and commented in writing. If no comment was received, the EC concluded that the new changes were seen as acceptable.

          Certain changes were made to shorten the document, like the rules of procedure referenced by means of a website, as opposed to adding the entire content to the document. Other changes have been purely grammatical / spelling errors (“paediatrics” was changed to “paediatricians”, for example). Furthermore, changes were made to clarify clauses (thus explaining, rather changing the meaning of the clause). For example, section 14.1 states more strongly that the financial resources were managed separately (wording has been changed to clarify details more precisely). 
          Section 5 and section 6 were simply transposed, since section 5 previously spoke about the delegates without defining who the delegates are. This is simply a change for the sake of the logic of the document. There was a changing in numbering, not in content. The UEMS statutes were referred to by means of a link to shorten the document, and not a full attachment to reduce the length of the document. 

           The biggest change was with regards to the full membership structure:  members expressed that the member section could be confusing, and the paragraph was revised to be more concise.EAP (not EBP) full membership was changed to national countries as listed by the WHO (wider Europe) so more countries could be eligible to become a member of EAP. This only applies to the EAP and not to the EBP (which has to abide by the rules of the UEMS). UEMS operates on European level and not according to the list of countries as listed by the WHO. 

          A need for clarity was expressed. One of the delegates mentioned that the change is unclear, as the EAP was referred to as the “Paediatric Section of the UEMS” historically. The president accentuated that this will be adjusted to the “EBP, Paediatric Section of UEMS”. One of the intentions of the change in statute is to be more precise on how these two bodies (the EAP and the EBP) work together. The European Academy of Paediatrics has in fact never been a paediatric section of UEMS and therefore the urgent need to make the statutes more precise and accentuate the fact that these are two inseparable, but unique bodies. 
          It was further stipulated that there is a very clear, separately obtainable section on UEMS, which is the approving body of specialists the Europe and that there is no need to repeat the content in the statutes of the EAP once more. This section clearly explains, why the EAP and the UEMS is different. The two different entities should be clearly defined. The EAP wishes to extend its representation outside the structure of the UEMS, which is completely acceptable. 
          Process during the GA:All changes were highlighted in yellow and each change was discussed/clarified. After the discussion, Dr Rob Ross-Russel requested those present to indicate if they felt comfortable to vote on the changes. If so, a formal, secret, paper-voting process would follow. If not (in the case where a third of those present with voting writes feel uncomfortable to cast a vote), the decision to change the statutes would be postponed until the following General Assembly. The latest version of the Statute was provided to the GA on the day.
          It was established that a majority of four fifths of those present with voting rights felt comfortable enough to continue with a paper vote. It was accentuated that the objectives are not being changed. The importance of feeling unified about the changes in the statutes were accentuated. 

          The president called all countries with voting rights in alphabetical order to receive ballots to cast votes (1 vote per country):

          • Austria
          • Belgium
          • Bulgaria
          • Croatia (proxy)
          • Cyprus
          • Czech Republic
          • Denmark
          • Estonia
          • Finland
          • France (proxy)
          • Greece (absent)
          • Hungary
          • Iceland
          • Ireland
          • Italy
          • Lithuania
          • Latvia (absent)
          • Malta (absent)
          • Netherlands
          • Norway
          • Poland
          • Portugal
          • Romania (absent)
          • Slovakia (absent)
          • Spain (absent)
          • Slovenia (proxy)
          • Sweden
          • Switzerland
          • United Kingdom

          Three National Delegates (Martin White, Hans Dornbusch & Corinne Wyder) volunteered and counted the votes in a separate room. Voting results were shared with the GA by Martin White:
          In favor: 22
          Abstained: 3
          Against: 0

          The statute change has been confirmed and a new era where the EAP doors are open to all European countries commences. The president announced the final outcome and thanked everyone for the tremendous contribution. By definition, all members of the national societies that are full members of the EAP, are by default full members of the EAP and can participate in the permanent councils without paying any fee. This is one of the reasons why we switched.

          The only individual membership categories that will be charged are the associate members.

          Young EAP is officially represented and may vote.

           

           

          8. Permanent Councils, Working Groups and Projects  (Report in case GA approval is needed)

          President confirmed, no points for discussion.

          9. Young EAP report (in case GA approval is needed)

          President confirmed, no points for discussion.

          10. Elections for the seat of European Board Chair

          The president mentioned no candidatures for the seat of Vice President was received.
          However, since the new statutes have been approved, there is no need for vice president elections anymore, since the 32 national societies belonging to the UEMS will vote for the president of the EBP. The new statutes states that the EBP President will be vice President (ex-officio) of the EAP, since these two organizations are inseparable entities.

          1 candidature for EBP was received: Dr. Robert Ross-Russel. The same voting structure as with the statutes was followed during the GA. The committee (Corrine Wyder, Hans Dornbusch and Martin White) ran the elections once more. The countries were called in alphabetical order:

          • Austria
          • Belgium
          • Bulgaria
          • Croatia (proxy)
          • Cyprus
          • Czech Republic
          • Denmark
          • Estonia
          • Finland
          • France (proxy)
          • Greece (absent)
          • Hungary
          • Iceland
          • Ireland
          • Italy
          • Lithuania
          • Latvia (absent)
          • Malta (absent)
          • Netherlands
          • Norway
          • Poland
          • Portugal
          • Romania (absent)
          • Slovakia (absent)
          • Spain (absent)
          • Slovenia (absent – no proxy for EBP chair vote)
          • Sweden
          • Switzerland (absent)
          • United Kingdom

          Three volunteers from the EBP Committee (Martin White, Hans Dornbusch & Corinne Wyder) counted the votes in a separate room.

          Voting results were shared with the GA by Martin White:
          In favor: 22
          Abstained: 1
          Against: 1

          Dr Robert Ross-Russel is once again elected as EBP chair.

          11. EAP Spring Meeting 2020 Adamos Hadjipanayis

          The upcoming meeting in Malta will take place from 29-30 May 2020 in Malta, 2020.

          12. Upcoming EAP Meetings

          The upcoming meeting in Malta will take place from 29-30 May 2020 in Malta, 2020.

          Estonia (Chris Pruunsild) addressed the General Assembly to propose Estonia (Tallinn) as a possible candidate to host country of the Spring meeting in 2022. The economic and technological development over the past few decades was briefly mentioned. In the medical world specialized care and the hospital setting makes use of many technological advancements (e-meeting systems, e-care, etc.). The audience was enticed with a short video about Estonia describing attractions at Tallinn.

          Chris Pruunsild introduced the Estonian team to the audience.

          The GA concurred with the decision to host the 2022 Spring Meeting in Tallinn, Estonia.

          13. Venue of Spring Meeting 2021

          In 2021 the Spring meeting will take place in Montenegro. The delegate from Montenegro addressed the audience and expressed their intention to do a presentation in during the Spring meeting in Malta.

          14. Any Other Issue

          Treasurer Elections:
          Proposal is to have the elections for EBP Treasurer at the Winter meeting in 2020, meaning that the current treasurer (Arunas) will serve both EAP and EBP until that point.
          The GA was in favor of the decision.

          Anna Margarida Neves was thanked for her service as Vice President of the EAP and will leave her term after the winter meeting in 2019. The Secretary General presented Ana Neves with a small gesture of gratitude from the EC.
          Ana expressed what an honor and pleasure it had been to serve as Vice President and thanked everyone for their contribution.

           

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