Congress Programme Committee    
  Personal Remarks

Initially, I had some reservations to join the EFNS, since it was succeeding the Paneuropean Society of Neurology which was mainly based in Central Europe and operated by a group of closely related conservative neurologists. The scientific orientation of this group biased the topics discussed at the congresses of the Paneuropean Society of Neurology, e.g. in Vienna 1991, but also was in some aspects carried over to the first Regional Meetings of the EFNS, e.g. in Berlin 1993 and in Prague 1997 and the first full-fledged Congresses of the EFNS, e.g. in Rome 1996, which I attended. With the orientation of the EFNS after the World Congress of Neurology in Vancouver 1993 the EFNS changed with the new members of the Management Committee and a new trend towards research based neurology as established in Western Europe and the USA and Canada was accomplished. This strategic decision of the Management Committee under the Presidency of Jes Olesen (10 points of mission) was the basis for the development of programs for the Congresses of the EFNS, and it was a great honour but also a burden when Jes Olesen and Uschi Tschabitscher offered me the position of Chairman of the Programme Committee (and at that time also of the Scientific Committee) in 1993 for the following annual congresses. I am very grateful to the international members of the PC that together we developed the guidelines for the programmes of the EFNS congresses, setting the rules for main topics, focussed workshops and oral as well as poster sessions, which in principle are still followed with some alterations, additions and improvements. The first congress organized according to these guidelines in Seville in 1998 attracted 4200 participants the city certainly was also part of this attraction and additionally was a big financial success setting the economic foundation for the EFNS for the following years. The structure of the programme was successfully applied to the following congresses in Lisbon 1999, Copenhagen 2000 and Vienna 2002; 2001 the EFNS did not organize its own congress but was partner at the WFN World Congress of Neurology in London with membership in the Programme Committee and organization of a Main Topic Session.
  Wolf-Dieter Heiss, Germany
Congress Programme Committee: 1997-1999

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