2021 EEBA Annual Meeting has been cancelled

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The European Eye Bank Association regretfully announces that the 2021 EEBA Annual Meeting has been cancelled. In view of ongoing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, the local organising committee for EEBA 2021 felt that the momentous and unpredictable public health crisis didn’t proffer them with a realistic chance of organising a safe and successful meeting and as such they called for the event to be postponed until 2022. This unwelcome but understandable appeal was accepted by the EEBA Committee and as a result the European Eye Bank Association formally affirms that the XXXIII Annual Meeting, scheduled to take place in March 2021, will now take place in Liverpool in March 2022.

As you can imagine, the decision to cancel the 2021 EEBA Annual Meeting was not an easy one and one which was not taken lightly and the EEBA Committee recognizes the magnitude of this outcome for the Association and our Members. Nevertheless, in the face of this unprecedented and precarious crisis, the Committee felt that it was important to focus on our collective health and safeguard the welfare of those who travel to attend the Annual Meeting. To this end, EEBA hopes that everyone will understand and support this decision.

All the same, should you have any queries or questions regarding the EEBA Annual Meeting then please feel free to contact the EEBA Secretariat

Background
The first meeting of the European Eye Bank Association (EEBA) took place in Århus, Denmark in 1989. The handful of people present, invited by Professor Niels Ehlers could not have known how the organisation would develop, only that there was much to learn and share about eye banking. This open-minded approach is surely one of the reasons why the EEBA can claim today to be a successful organisation.

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The regular annual meetings and collection and exchange of information that has occurred now amounts to a significant track record. The association has a level of maturity which gives it a voice with which to speak with some confidence on eye banking in Europe.

Whilst informality has always been a key characteristic of the EEBA recent developments, particularly concerning the regulation of tissue banking in several EU member countries, have meant that the Association felt that it needed to spend more time discussing and revising its objectives, rules, and finances. Therefore, in September 2002, the EEBA Committee found it appropriate to meet for the first time between annual meetings in order to have a chance to be briefed on new developments prior to the regular annual meeting.

At that meeting a number of important decisions were taken. It was decided that a part-time secretariat would be established and hosted at the Veneto Eye Bank Foundation in Venice (Italy). Gary Jones is covering the post as Executive Officer. The composition of the Committee was clearly defined as 12 members including a President, Vice President, posts of a Secretary, Treasurer and 9 elected members which includes at least one technical representative, all with voting rights, plus a Directory Supervisor and a Website Manager. Terms of office are for 3 years. It is hoped that the size of the Committee will allow enthusiastic and committed members to come forward for election so that a good cross-section of the 24 countries currently participating in the EEBA will be represented.

The Association remains a scientific group committed to defining minimum standards. It is committed to encouraging banks to produce Standard Operating Procedures as required by the relevant authorities in each country. The Association will remain sensitive to comments on the design and content of the Directory and will attempt to make data collection processes as easy to complete as possible. As always you are encouraged to complete activity forms as accurately and promptly as soon as possible.

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