I am delighted to greet you as the new President of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA), the premier professional society for cardiac electrophysiologists, cardiac arrhythmia physicians and surgeons, and allied electrophysiology and pacing professionals. I have been elected as the EHRA president this year, succeeding Gerhard Hindricks. The president-elect is Hein Heidbuchel, Cecilia Linde is treasurer and Robert Hatala is the secretary. I have served EHRA as editor-in-chief of Europace and in various other roles for the last decade, and before that I was chairman of what was then the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Working Group on Cardiac Arrhythmias.
This will be a crucial year for the Association as we seek to work more closely with national specialty groups, ESC working groups and other European networks and organisations. We will all be challenged by the unfortunate Eucomed regulations that will severely limit sponsorship to attend the meetings and congresses organised by professional societies. This will have a detrimental effect on specialty education. These impartial activities cannot be replaced by the training and marketing meetings that might be offered by industry as ‘educational’ substitutes. We must all guard against this threat to our professional development, and support our European Heart Rhythm Association and national specialty groups. United we stand, divided we fall!