International Executive Committee meets in Marseille
Special meeting at the European Conference on Epilepsy & Society
For the first time in many years, thanks to support provided by Eisai pharmaceutical company, a special one-day meeting of the International Executive Committee was held at the time of the Epilepsy & Society Conference in Marseille last October. This provided a great opportunity for members of the committee, who are based in countries around the world, to meet with delegates to the conference and to share news and information on a range of issues relevant to IBE and to its members.
The committee met for a full day of discussion in advance of the start of the conference and addressed a number of issues, including:
The Membership Drive 2008 had been very successful in identifying associations that met the criteria for membership and in encouraging them to consider IBE membership. By mid-October, six new membership applications had been ratified by the General Assembly, using electronic balloting. These new Members are in the following countries:
- Australia (2)
- Czech Republic
This gave a total membership figure of 123 Members, with 91 Full Members and 32 Associate Members. Of course, since then, we have welcomed more new Members to the Bureau.
Action Zone! Awards
IBE President Susanne Lund reported on the important Communiqué Awards that had been awarded to IBE for the Action Zone! game that had been developed as a collaboration between IBE and UCB Pharma. IBE won two major awards:
*Best International Public Relations Campaign
- Communiqué Campaign of the Year 2008 Award Journalism Awards
The committee discussed the new Excellence in Journalism awards, which would be presented in Budapest at the time of the 27th International Epilepsy Congress.
The awards could play an important role in encouraging journalists to report widely and accurately on epilepsy both in the printed media as well as on radio, TV and the internet.
It was also vital to see that journalists used the correct terminology and language when focussing on epilepsy. All too often there were cases where inappropriate language was usedeither due to lack of accurate information or, more worryingly, in order to sensationalise a story for the sole purpose of increasing readership. The committee was agreed that, if successful, the journalism awards could become a biennial initiative.
Looking forward, attention was paid to the next two International Epilepsy Congresses: Budapest 2009 and Rome 2011. Both of these meetings would mark important anniversaries with ILAE celebrating its centenary in Budapest and IBE celebrating its Gold Jubilee in Rome.
Budapest will see many special activities marking one hundred years of ILAE, but IBE is also planning for the congress. The committee spent some time in considering interesting activities for IBE Members and for all delegates to the conference. Elsewhere in this magazine you can read more about IBE plans for Budapest.
Two years from now, IBE will reach its 50th Birthday and already the committee is beginning to make exciting plans to mark the event. The 28th International Epilepsy Congress will take place in Rome, the city where the Bureau was founded, and the Eternal City will be a fantastic location for the congress.
A final issue for discussion was the planned new Regional Membership category, which is being considered. It is hoped that a proposal will be ready in good time for discussion at the Assembly in Budapest.