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EU Health Commissioner Andriukaitis urges stronger collaboration

To the rhythmic, high energy beat of the synchronized, four-man Copenhagen Drummers band, the 33rd Annual EAU Congress opened yesterday with European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Prof. Vytenis Andriukaitis (LT) urging the audience to collaborate in the European Reference Networks (ERNs).

“This flagship project reflects not only the need to further strengthen our collaboration, but also the fact that we can and have achieved a lot if we put together our resources, knowledge and commitment,” said Andriukaitis. He emphasized that the synergies of expert centres are invaluable and will come a long way in providing better healthcare, particularly to those with rare diseases.

Andriukaitis thanked EAU Secretary General Prof. Chris Chapple for his personal efforts and commitment to ERNs with the involvement of urological expertise in the eUROGEN network which currently numbers 29 active units in 11 EU member states.

Chapple also highlighted the crucial role of the EU in creating the ERNs which he said will lead to better data collection and mutual collaboration among European scientists and clinical professionals. “To ensure the sustainability of this project we need to form partnerships and work on common goals,” he said.

The Opening Ceremony traditionally highlights the EAU’s honorary members and awardees. Chapple conferred the title of Honorary Members to Gunnar Aus (SE), Patrick Coloby (FR), Mani Menon (US) and Ajit Vaze (IN). Prof. Vicenzo Mirone (IT) received the EAU Willy Gregoir Medal 2018. Prof. Didier Jacqmin (FR) was awarded the EAU Frans Debruyne Lifetime Achievement Award, while Prof. Selcuk Silay (TR) won the EAU Crystal Matula Award.

“For urologists our biggest concern is how to boost our medical and surgical strategies, and balance these without neglecting our core competencies,” said Mirone.

Chapple also highlighted the crucial role of the EU in creating the ERN which he said will lead to better data collection and mutual collaboration among European scientists and clinical professionals.   “To ensure the sustainability of this project we need to form partnerships and work on common  goals,” he said.

The Opening Ceremony traditionally highlights the EAU’s  honorary members and awardees. Chapple conferred the title of Honorary Members to Gunnar Aus (SE), Patrick Coloby (FR), Mani Menon (US) and Ajit  Vaze (IN). Prof. Vicenzo Mirone (IT) received the EAU Willy Gregoir Medal 2018. Prof. Didier Jacqmin (FR) was awarded the EAU Frans Debruyne Lifetime Achievement Award, while Prof. Selcuk Silay (TR) won the EAU Crystal Matula Award.

“For urologists our biggest concern is how to boost our medical and surgical strategies, and balance these without neglecting our core competencies,” said Mirone.

Dr. Deepansh Dalela (US) received the Hans Marberger Award for the best European paper published on minimally invasive surgery in urology. Prof. Sergio Musitelli (IT) received the first EAU Ernest Desnos Prize for his contributions to urological history, while Hashim Ahmed (GB) was awarded the EAU Prostate Cancer Research Award.

Article by Joel Vega and Erika de Groot