I measure the great honor to be the new president of the ESP. Of course, this is an honor but also a challenge. It is a challenge because I have to take over from Prof Han Van Krieken. I would like to congratulate him for his superb leadership. Everyone knew him already as an outstanding pathologist and scientist. We now know that Prof Han van Krieken is also a consummate diplomat, but, equally, that he has not been backward in confronting major issues of our society. As his predecessors, Fatima Carneiro, Fred Bosman, Mike Wells to name a few, Han van Krieken deployed tremendous energy to build a society which is now the home of any pathologist from Europe, at large.
I was a member of the executive committee more than 15 years ago. At that time the society was starting to rise. Prof. Manuel Sobrinho Simoes, Gunter Klöppel, Antonio Cardesa, to name a few, have laid the foundations of our home and it is impressive to look how fast the society has grown since that time, how many new initiatives have developed, and how much the society has increased its visibility around the world. This was because the foundations were very solid, thanks to these outstanding personalities.
But growing fast raises also threats. This needs a day by day management, a very professional office, the strict control of our budget, everything that have to be done without losing efficacy and attractiveness. Thanks to the safe structure of the society, we are in good shape, the office has been restructured with the arrival of our scientific director, Dr Raed Al Dieri and the finances are on the safe side. I would like to specially thank Marco Santucci having accepted to be renewed as treasurer. With Ilmo Leivo as secretary, and Dina Tiniakos as president-elect, the dynamic is on.
Nothing would have been and will not be possible without the active participation of the various bodies of the ESP; the advisory board, the working groups, our journal Virchows Archiv and its dedicated editor-in-chief Fred Bosman, the education subcommittee and our website with a new educational portal that is expected to be launched very soon, thanks to the efforts of Helmut Popper. Recent initiatives such as the creation of the trainee subcommittee and the program of advanced training center and Giordano fellowship have been already successful. The trainee committee is part of our future and it is reassuring to observe how fast the residents and young trainees have been rapidly and deeply implicated. It is our aim to involve them even more. The first application for the Giordano’s fellowship has already been received in the office and I am pretty sure that it will be followed by many others. The ESP foundation will be ready to start soon and I am eager to discover the book on History of ESP, two initiatives launched by our past-president.
This will be probably too ambitious for a new president to launch additional initiatives without securing those that have emerged already. Nevertheless, we have to be ambitious and we have the capacity to do so. The office in Brussel has and will continue to be reshaped with new persons working on a very professional way and I am very confident that projects such as for example the junior pathologist academy can be launched very quickly. We have the ambition not to compete with the most famous scientific society around the world, but to develop common initiatives with the most visible one, looking for mutual benefit.
The European Congress of Pathology, beside its payback in science, research and education for all of us is also a dedicated place for discussion, networking, sharing of experience and building new projects. With more than 2000 registrants from more than 80 different countries, the 2015 ECP in Belgrade was a great success. Next year, we will be in Cologne. This will be a joint congress between ESP and the German Division of the IAP. Strong and friendly relationships have been established between the two societies and thanks to the input of our dynamic working groups, the program looks already very attractive. Preparation is underway, but any suggestion is welcome. Please do not hesitate to contact us to provide new ideas. ESP has to be a living society!