European Urology Today: June/July 2023

“Collaboration gives us a voice” A Q&A with the new Secretary General at the 2023 National Societies Meeting

discount will automatically be granted to those practising in the so-called lower income countries. Thankfully our partners, like national societies we have an en-bloc agreement with, have been very understanding.” “Another topic we are continuously evaluating and addressing is diversity within the organisation, whether that’s based on gender, age, race or geography. That means at events and in our boards, we need to be as diverse as our membership already is.” In Noordwijk we also had a meeting of the Scientific Congress Office and preparations are being made for EAU24 in Paris. What sort of expectations do you have? “I’m very positive! The programme we’re putting together is another excellent programme. We received a lot of positive feedback about EAU23, not just in Europe but from abroad, about the quality of discussions and contributions. This shows that we’re on the right track, post-covid.” “We are drawing up an attractive congress for both uro-oncology and non-oncology. We are very much trying to get basic research integrated in the programme in a more understandable way. I personally feel that it will be an increasingly important part of our field, it’s the future. We will maintain the high amount of live surgery, of course in the safest way possible and following all of the protocols.” “Paris historically attracts a lot of people to our congresses, and this will be our fourth visit. Having our congress in France also helps our collaboration with the AFU. We’ve already met with them and they look forward to hosting us in April. Paris is of course a beautiful city, and the Summer Olympics will be held there, so hopefully everything will be in tip-top shape for them, and for us.”

At the 38th Annual EAU Congress in Milan earlier this year, Prof. Arnulf Stenzl succeeded Prof. Chris Chapple and became the EAU’s seventh Secretary General since its formal foundation in 1973. We caught up with him three months later to talk about immediate priorities and larger topics that the EAU and urologists will face in the coming years. We’re in Noordwijk for the EAU Meets National Societies meeting. What can you say about this meeting’s importance for the EAU? “We’re an association that depends on membership and the support and trust of national societies. We have a history of more than five decades. Together, we can achieve things that individual national societies cannot.” “Therefore, we need to really listen to the national societies: where would our presence be more appreciated? What sort of educational courses and masterclasses would be most useful for them? We want to best serve our members and urologists throughout Europe. Geographical Europe is our base, but we are committed to building a diverse and inclusive community with global reach. We act regionally to raise the level of urological care throughout Europe and beyond.”

What do you hope to get across at this meeting?

face. And then there’s data: we are in a unique position to provide a European platform for registries and real-world data, to stay on top of scientific developments.” “These examples are of course in addition to what we offer in terms of international scholarship opportunities, educational programmes, patient information, our scientific journals and the EAU Guidelines.” More generally, what are some topics that you are dealing with as the new Secretary General? “One topic we are closely watching is our current portfolio of scientific meetings. Over the past two years we’ve attempted to combine what were once individual Section meetings into larger, combined meetings, leading to new meetings like UROtech and UROonco . We’re very curious to see how this approach will be received, particularly when there’s the risk of competing with our other meetings. When we have fewer but bigger meetings, we have to make sure that the events can be visited conveniently from all over Europe by train or car as well as plane. We really have to do our homework and see how the meetings are received and what the differentiator is.” “A recent issue we faced was the decision to increase our membership fees. Over the last couple of years the EAU has heavily invested in improving and expanding its services and at the last General Assembly we agreed to adjust the membership fees which will give us a sustainable business model and enable the association to continue to fulfil its purpose.” “At the same time, we simplified the membership structure by making the fees for European and non-European the same. Residents enjoy a greatly reduced rate, and medical students and patient advocates will see no increase in fees. To make membership accessible and affordable to all, a

“Of course we want to maintain our ties and discuss all sorts of topics that affect us as urologists in Europe. But we also want to show that we are not a competitor to national societies and we have to convince people that our additional benefit, being a scientific membership association, is worth it.” “There are several things that set us apart from national societies: we can offer the biggest scientific meetings, a platform for top speakers worldwide, for a European and even global audience. The number and quality of speakers, a normal national society could not organise a comparable event. We offer the possibility for young urologists to meet colleagues outside of their country, in an English-speaking platform. They build relationships but are also exposed to ideas that might change their daily practice.” “Because we represent 19,000 medical professionals, our voice means something and we can lobby. Not just in Brussels on EU matters but also at the request of national societies in their own capitals. Particularly on matters like early detection of prostate cancer we can help individual countries overcome political obstacles they might

Prof. Stenzl during one of the break-out sessions at the 2023 National Societes Meeting

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European Urology Today June/July 2023


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