Welcome from the ERS President

elisabeth bel 3I am honoured to be hosting the 25th International Congress of the European Respiratory Society in my home city of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is famous for its international trade and it is fitting that the ERS Congress is held in a city that has reaped the benefits from an international outlook. It is imperative that we, as respiratory professionals, mirror this approach and work together as an international network to achieve our goal of promoting lung health and combating lung diseases.

The scientific and educational programme promises to deliver a wealth of new material from all sections of respiratory health and disease. The Chairs of the Scientific and Education Councils, together with all the ERS officers, work on the programme throughout the year to ensure it delivers the very best results from the latest research, meeting the needs of respiratory professionals in all disciplines.

This year we have taken the landmark decision to provide the congress scientific and educational programme in a digital format only. With the growth in digital platforms over the last ten years, there is no better time to provide our delegates with all the materials and tools needed in a digital format. Instead of a printed copy, the programme will be available on the Congress website where users can easily browse all the sessions, build their own personal itinerary, and download and print abstracts of interest. All these features will also be available on the Congress App, which is free to download and will be available from August. In addition, this is a further step forward in our 20-point plan to ensure that we are being eco-friendly in as many areas as possible.

The success of our society depends on our dedicated and loyal members, and to those of you who join us for our Congress each year. I'd like to extend a warm welcome to all the new members who have joined us this year, as we have seen our numbers rise due to our new membership strategy with national and international societies. I look forward to seeing you all in Amsterdam, for our 25th Congress, which looks set to be one of the biggest events in the respiratory calendar.

Professor Elisabeth Bel