Dear Colleagues,

The next EULAR Annual European Congress of Rheumatology will take place from 13–16 June 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The annual EULAR Congress continues to be a major event in the calendar of world rheumatology and Amsterdam 2018 will again provide an unique event for the exchange of scientific and clinical information. It will be a platform to facilitate interactions between patients, medical doctors, scientists, health professionals and professionals representing the pharmaceutical industry, both from within Europe and from around the world. In addition, we will also see further results from our initiatives, the EULAR School of Rheumatology, the “Don’t Delay, Connect Today” campaign and the launch of the EULAR Strategy 2018-2023.

EULAR Congresses have, rightly so, received tremendous interest in terms of participation and quality of contributions. This also reflects the availability of increased information on the impact, burden and cost of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases for the individual and society, and a significantly improved ability to diagnose and treat them (early). The incorporation of health professional and patient organisations within EULAR has been a unique stimulus for these advances. This intensive cooperation facilitates, for instance, the implementation of recommendations for management/standards of care of musculoskeletal disorders in daily practice – of which we have seen prime examples at our EULAR Congresses.

The EULAR Congress 2018 in Amsterdam will offer a wide range of topics including clinical innovations, clinical translational and basic science. Furthermore, there will be meetings organised by People with Arthritis and Rheumatism in Europe (PARE), Health Professionals in Rheumatology (HPR) and by the health care industry. The WIN/HOT track for the busy clinician who wants an update on What is New and How to Treat the major rheumatic diseases has become a much praised highlight of the EULAR Congress. Another crucial activity of the congress are the poster presentations and poster tours with their highly interactive exchanges among participants. The Amsterdam event will further strengthen the reputation of the EULAR Congress as a highly innovative and informative venue for clinical and translational researchers - not only within the different facets of our discipline (including inflammation, pain, bone, mechanical and in ammatory disorders), but also learning from other relevant disciplines. The Amsterdam meeting will further promote the reputation of the EULAR Congress as the most innovative and informative venue for clinical research for the practising physician. The EULAR EMEUNET organisation of young rheumatologists will continue to attract young colleagues to the meeting and will disseminate the message that rheumatology is one of the most attractive and successful disciplines of medicine.

We are very happy to visit the City of Amsterdam again. In 2006, we were impressed by the magnificent ambiance of canals and canalside houses, galleries, astonishing museums (think Rembrandt, Vermeer, Rubens, Steen and Van Gogh), the Anne Frank House, theatres, music and culinary pleasures. In June even the Dutch weather might be very pleasant. Thus, Amsterdam will provide an excellent background for scientific and clinical exchanges, international collaborations and renewal of friendships. We will take great pleasure in welcoming medical doctors, patients, health professionals and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry to EULAR 2018, and hope that their stay in Amsterdam will be informative, educational and, last but not least, enjoyable.

Johannes W. J. Bijlsma
EULAR President