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Sparkling Athens

The cradle of Western civilisation, Athens has always performed strongly when it comes to attracting international associations meetings, writes James Lancaster. The city hosted 76 last year, according to ICCA Rankings, a number that has barely fluctuated during the last eight years of austerity (a condition of the EU bailout in 2010 which resulted from the country’s sovereign debt crisis).

One of those meetings was the 11th European Congress of Emergency Medicine, which drew 1,800 delegates to the Megaron Athens International Conference Centre, in September, 2017.

Co-organised by the European Society and the Hellenic Society for Emergency Medicine (EUSEM, HESEM), the conference provided an opportunity for 150 renowned speakers – experts from all medical specialties across the world – to gather in a superb, modern-day edifice and discuss emerging directions and recent developments in the field of emergency medicine.

Interactive sessions, networking activities and the stimulating environment of the historical city of Athens made the experience a unique and unparalleled one for many of the delegates.

The European Society for Emergency Medicine (EUSEM INPO) is a not-for-profit scientific organisation whose aim is to ‘promote and foster the concept, philosophy and the art of emergency medicine throughout Europe’. Its ultimate objective is to help European nations to achieve the specialty of emergency medicine. Born as a society of individuals in 1994 from a multidisciplinary group of experts in emergency medicine, since 2005 EUSEM has also incorporated a federation, which currently includes 36 European national societies of emergency medicine.

Following the Conference at Megaron, Roberta Petrino, president of EUSEM, said: “I personally and on behalf of the EUSEM executive, wish to warmly thank you all for making the European Emergency Medicine Congress in Athens a great success. I wish to thank the congress organising committee, the scientific committee, the young emergency medicine doctors, the education committee, and the MCO girls for the great work done. They succeeded in building up a sparkling event, with pre-courses, interactive sessions, great scientific value, wonderful organisation and a lot of fun.”

Athens – the intellectual capital

Home of Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum, Athens was the undisputed intellectual capital of the world in the fifth century BCE. Socrates, whose ideas and methodology were passed down through his pupils Plato and Xenophon, was one of the founders of Western Philosophy and is often described as the first moral philosopher in the Western ethical tradition. Classical Athens was also the birthplace of Pericles, Aristophanes, Thucydides, Sophocles, and many other prominent philosophers, writers and historians.