Letter from the ECCO President

Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet, ECCO President

Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet


Dear ECCO IBD Community,

Dear ECCO Friends,

During the past three months of the COVID-19 pandemic ECCO has intensively and carefully analysed measures of how to safely steer our ECCO activities through the upcoming year. ECCO would like to share some important information with you:

1. ECCO’21 Congress

Due to the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, ECCO has reached out to you (IBD Community and Industry Partners) investigating about your preferences regarding the format for the upcoming Congress in 2021. ECCO highly appreciates your valuable contribution to the survey and herewith can announce that the outcome clearly pointed into the direction of a LIVE congress instead of a virtual only congress. Based on this outcome the ECCO Governing Board has decided to move the ECCO Congress of the next year exceptionally from February to end of June/beginning of July 2021 in order to minimize any risk related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Such a move entails a thorough research about the necessary infrastructure at congress destinations under discussion. We are happy to announce that ECCO has already a short list of destinations and is aiming to announce the final decision the latest by end of August.

2. ECCO Elections

a. Committee Elections

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced ECCO to defer some of its association projects and hence it has been decided by the ECCO Governing Board to extend all terms of current committee members by one year in order to give the current ECCO Officers the chance to carry on their projects as initially planned. This results in postponing the current calls for elections to next year. Candidates who have already applied will be kept on file provided their consent.

b. Governing Board Elections

In analogy to the committee elections the appointed positions (Scientific Officer and Education Officer) on the Governing Board have also been extended by one year. In accordance to the ECCO Statutes the decision about extending the other Governing Board positions (President-elect, President, Past-President, Treasurer) and the two Internal Auditor positions for one year has to be taken by the ECCO Members/General Assembly. ECCO Members will receive a dedicated email with access to the respective voting platform.

3. Fellowships & Grants 

ECCO was very keen to maintain the research funding as far as possible and has adapted its portfolio to what is feasible throughout the pandemic. The ECCO Grants, N-ECCO Research Grant as well as the ECCO Multi-Year Research Grant and ECCO Research Award have been allowed an extended deadline from beginning of June to July 31, 2020. The remaining calls have been cancelled for 2020, since they would require travel activities which are particularly unpredictable at the moment.

4. Educational Workshops

Most of the Educational Workshops in 2020 would have taken place adjacent to a national meeting already in the months of the COVID-19 lockdown. Therefore, an early decision was taken to move all scheduled workshops in 2020 to 2021. ECCO is currently searching for feasible dates with the respective local contacts and will announce them online in due course.

5. IBD Nurse Education Programme

The IBD Nurse Education Programme initially scheduled for fall 2020 has been postponed to start in approx. one year. ECCO will keep you updated regarding the exact dates on the ECCO Website.

6. Y-ECCO Mentorship Forum

The 1st Y-ECCO Mentorship Forum has been moved from June 2020 to June 4-5, 2021 taking place in Vienna.

We trust that these decisions are a constructive approach for an upcoming exceptional year and we would like to assure you that established ECCO Initiatives are safeguarded. Make sure to follow the upcoming ECCO eNewsletters for open calls and greatly anticipated publications. ECCO wishes you a wonderful summer and looks forward to seeing you again very soon! I am deeply convinced that at the end this virus will reinforce the link between all ECCO family members.

Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet

on behalf of the ECCO Governing Board

Posted in ECCO News, Letters from the ECCO President, Volume 15, Issue 2