ESCP President’s Greeting

Evangelos Xynos

It is my privilege and honour to undertake the role of ESCP President for 2020-2021. I perceive my term as another link in the expanding chain of a society, which has flourished rapidly since its foundation, and now has an established reputation as a leading in the field of coloproctology worldwide.

This amazing development of ESCP is depicted on a large canvas of various activities. The focus of ESCP primarily to educate has been showcased at the high-quality annual meetings with their outstanding programmes, full of hot topics addressed by exceptional speakers; and equally important educational events, both during the annual meetings and throughout the year, with excellently structured workshops endorsed by ESCP and organised by the European School of Coloproctology. In addition, worth mentioning are the efforts of the Research Committee to provide 'real world evidence' on various issues of colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases, and of the Guidelines Committee which, in collaboration with other relevant societies, has produced a great deal of high quality methodological consensus on various colorectal topics. Prudent financial control by the treasurers and industry sponsoring have been ensuring the success of the above listed activities.

Unfortunately, the upheaval of the pandemic has changed our plans and forced us to cancel the face-to-face Vilnius meeting, the organisation of which all ESCP's committees, the Executive members and the organisers have spent a tremendous number of working hours to produce what we thought would be a great success. Undoubtedly, this has been a big blow to the society’s finances, but nevertheless we hope to overcome this misfortune. However, we innovated, and following the cancellation of the meeting, the Executive and the organisers have put a great deal of vigorous and tireless effort, via numerous exhausting teleconferences, to organise the 'Virtually Vilnius' meeting from 21-23 September 2020. We can assure all ESCP members that, again, a superb programme has been produced, given the circumstances, and we hope that everyone enjoys it.

This pandemic has possibly signaled the beginning of a new era. New problems, challenges and obstacles necessitate sensible and sensitive assessment and preemptive actions to be undertaken to find a solution. With the democratic legacy of our society as the cardinal principle, and transparency as our new 'motto', the Executive, along with the contribution of all members, are confident that we cross 'the long and winding road' successfully and enable ESCP to keep on thriving. A useful tool towards this direction will be the revised Rules of the Society in which novel issues are introduced. Amongst these is a balanced diversity representation in terms of gender and geography, constitution of the Global Committee for the worldwide collaboration in education and research, and the Innovation Hub Sub-Committee. In due course, all ESCP members will be invited to submit their comments on-line on the revised Rules, and these comments will be thoroughly considered prior to ratification at a future AGM, and when pandemic permits. After all, ESCP should always be a society of its members.

I wish to express my deep appreciation to Willem Bemelman, stepping down as President, and the Executive committee for their invaluable contribution in making ESCP what it is today. I am sure that with their continued help, guidance, persistence, dedication and enthusiasm, our society will go on flourishing and become one of the most prestigious in coloproctology, globally.

We hope to meet in person at our Annual Meeting in Barcelona, September 2021.

Evangelos Xynos, President of ESCP

ESCP Secretary’s Message

Antonino Spinelli

Starting my service as Secretary of ESCP is humbling but exciting!

ESCP is a lively and dynamic society, able to build up a respected quality brand within a few years of its foundation, and it is still constantly growing.

I’d like to thank Gabriela Möslein who represented the society in this same role for the past three years, achieving many challenging goals in her excellent service to our society. She introduced me to the invisible work behind the scenes, unveiling the mechanisms that allow ESCP to work so well.

One of the characteristics of a relatively young society like ours is the ability of staying young: the enthusiasm of Young ESCP, the contribution of our young members in different committees, such as Research, Education and Guidelines, the evolving structure (with committees like Global Reach and Communication gaining more and more value in a tightly connected world) are examples of this attitude of the society.

COVID-19 is challenging the established model of education, scientific communication and exchange. No time for tears -immediate reaction with a brilliant, sparkling and interactive Virtual Vilnius Meeting, with a programme tailored for our members by the precious fingers of our Programme Committee Chair, Des Winter and his crew.

My wish, shared with the incoming President Evangelos Xynos, is to continue pushing the ever-evolving soul of the society towards key goals of today and tomorrow. For sure one of the most compelling tasks we have, as a pan-European scientific society, is to push political institutions to recognise colorectal surgery as a stand-alone specialty, according to the evidence coming from many countries. Another key topic will be tightening our relations and collaborations with the most prestigious scientific societies worldwide, related but not limited to, colorectal surgery.

The focus will be kept as well on continuing fostering the exciting activities already in place: among others, the innovative collaborative networks for clinical trials established within our Research Committee, the successful ESCP Masterclasses in many different countries (whenever it will be possible to re-start!), the support to knowledge exchange with our ESCP grants, the enhanced policies for gender balance and the new formats for education.

A lot more is coming, stay tuned… and thanks for your continuous support for ESCP!

Antonino Spinelli, ESCP Secretary

ESCP Affiliates