"No final decision has been made by the ESR Board of Directors regarding future ECR dates beyond July 2022. We have booked the congress venue (Austria Center) up to ECR 2025 and this covers a March and summer date for each year," an ESR spokesperson told AuntMinnieEurope.com on 1 March.
Nobody can predict how the pandemic will develop, and the ESR needs to be prepared for all eventualities, the spokesperson added. A final decision for ECR 2023 will be made after ECR 2022 in July, and ESR members will be notified immediately when specific details are available.
Pros and cons of summer congress
This year's onsite ECR switched from March to July because ESR considered it to be impossible to hold a successful congress in March, given COVID-19 restrictions. The organizers hope and expect that the situation will be much better by July.
For technical and legal reasons, the ESR's working year has always been tied to the congress. For instance, office holders change at the end of the ECR each year. Because this year's onsite edition of the congress is being held in July, the ESR needed to change the timing of its working year, and that lay behind the decision to hold an online General Assembly on 24 February.
The summer slot is not an ideal time for everybody, given summer holidays, etc., but the ESR felt it had no option this year for an earlier date. Also, Vienna has a lot to offer visitors in the summer and the July slot will give ECR the chance to show itself in a completely different way in comparison to the cold weeks of early March, according to the spokesperson.
The possibilities remain open for 2023 and beyond. The ESR retains the option of having ECR 2023 in March or July, depending on how 2022 plays out and how the onsite meeting goes in July.
ESR position on Ukraine
On 1 March, the ESR issued a statement to condemn acts of war in the Russian invasion of Ukraine and to urge respect for medical neutrality and human rights.
The ESR expressed its support for and solidarity with colleagues in Ukraine, as well as with their patients.
"We pledge to offer every support within our power to maintain radiology services and education within Ukraine," it stated. "We will ensure maintenance of the ESR's educational offerings and tailored support programmes and call upon our members to engage in and support humanitarian aid programmes and upon international and national authorities to ensure observance of human rights, humanitarian law, and dignity."
Meanwhile, the ECR Overture begins today and runs until Sunday. The full program is available on the ESR website. Look out for live coverage of the meeting on AuntMinnieEurope.com.
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