Minutes of the Annual Assembly of Members held in Vienna


Following retirements and new appointments, a new Executive Committee was confirmed in Vienna, which will remain in place for the next two years. The Italian embryologist Cristina Magli took over as Chair of ESHRE.

Published 15 July 2019

Minutes of the Annual Assembly of Members, held on Tuesday 25 June 2019, 18.00, at Messe Wien, Vienna, Austria

1. Minutes of the last meeting held in Barcelona

- The minutes of the 2018 Annual Assembly of Members (AAM), having been circulated to all members in Focus on Reproduction (September 2018), were approved.


2. There were no matters arising.


3. Membership of the Society

- Membership of the Society (as at 25 June 2019) stands at 7977, an increase of 8% on last year's figure of 7264 and an all-time record membership. European members account for two-thirds (64%) of the total. The top European membership countries are UK (606 members), Italy (413), Spain (396), Germany (324), Netherlands (308) and Belgium (307). The USA is represented by 361 members, and India 538 (now ESHRE's second largest national membership). 'Membership from the rest of the world continues to increase,' said outgoing Chair Roy Farquharson.

- The Chair reported that disciplines most prominently represented among members (according to SIG membership) are embryology and reproductive endocrinology, which together represent 54% of total membership.


4. Society activities

Annual meetings

- This year's Annual Meeting, the Society's 35th, was held at the Messe Wien in Vienna, Austria from 23 to 26 June. The Chair thanked local organiser Thomas Ebner for helping make this event another great success.

- The Chair noted an estimated attendance of around 12,000 based on registrations.

- The Annual Meeting of 2020 will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 5-8 July.


Campus meetings

- The Chair reported that 16 Campus courses had been held in 2018, with 18 planned for 2019. Full details are available on the Education section of the ESHRE website. In 2018 Campus events attracted 1355 participants and were held in 12 different countries.

- The Chairman also announced that e-Campus, the Society's e-learning platform, with webcasts and e-posters, is available free to ESHRE members via the website.


Data collection

- The Chairman praised the work of the European IVF Monitoring Consortium (EIM) and PGD Consortium. The EIM group has been collecting data retrospectively since 1997 from 38 European countries and is now monitoring more than 750,000 European ART cycles each year. The monitoring has cumulatively covered almost 10 million cycles and 2 million babies born. Around 40% of all European ART cycles are single embryo transfers.

- In Vienna Christine Wyns took over from Christian De Geyter as Chair of the EIM Consortium.

- Data collected for 2015 have now been submitted to Human Reproduction, while preliminary data for 2016 (which contain additional modules for fertility preservation) were presented in Vienna. Data collection for 2017 has a deadline of April 2020.

- Highlights of data reported for 2015 (from 1324 reporting clinics) indicate that the number of frozen cycles is still increasing relative to fresh (218,098 FER vs 155,963 fresh), with pregnancy rates from frozen cycles still rising (from 14.1% in 1997 to 29.2% in 2014). SET continues to rise (38% of all cycles), while multiple delivery rates decline.

- Preliminary PGD Consortium Data XVI (for 2016) was presented in Barcelona last year and will be submitted for publication later this. Prospective data collection for 2017-18 is ongoing, despite the 'sub-optimal quality of database software'.


Guidelines and recommendations

- ESHRE is involved in the development of full guidelines (high-quality evidence to support 'everyday clinical decision-making') and recommendations for good practice (where scientific evidence is 'limited').

- ESHRE guidelines recently published are for Endometriosis, Psychosocial Care, Premature Ovarian Insufficiency, Recurrent Pregnancy Loss, Turner Syndrome and collaboratively for PCOS. Guidelines on Ovarian Stimulation are in the final stages of development.

- Good practice recommendations recently published are in laboratory practice, laboratory performance indicators, endometrioma, and genital malformations. Published in 2019 were recommendations on ultrasound-guided oocyte pick-up. Under stakeholder review are recommendations for PGT (four guides in PGT-A, PGT-M and PGT-SR), time-lapse technology, and surgery in deep endometriosis.

- Ten other guidelines and recommendations are in the earlier stages of development.


ESHRE accreditation and certification

- ESHRE certification is of two types: for individuals as a reflection of their expertise and competence; and for centres as a mark of their quality of service and training. Thus, the objectives of ESHRE certification are to improve safety and quality in clinical practice and to improve training. 'Accreditation and certification are becoming a big part of what we're doing,' said the Chair.

- Individual certification is now available to ESHRE members in embryology, reproductive endoscopic surgery, and fertility nursing.

- The ESHRE training programme for sub-specialists in reproductive medicine was approved by UEMS (European Union of Medical Specialists) in 2017, and first exams took place in 2018.

- Centres accredited under ESHRE's joint programme for accreditation of subspecialist training programmes (with the European Board and College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (EBCOG)) retain accreditation for five years before renewal. New in 2019 is a certification programme for centres based on quality assessment of practice.

- Certification in embryology, introduced in 2008, remains ESHRE's most active programme, with 1595 certified members (and 297 applications in 2019).


ESHRE research grants

- Two research grants were awarded in 2018, one of 50,000 euro and one of 150,000 euro. The former was won by Binyam Mogessie, from University of Bristol, UK, on 'Probing actin-dependent chromosome cohesion in mammalian oocytes'. The 150,000 euro award was won by Roger Sturmey and colleagues from University of Hull, UK, on 'Embryo quality revisited: understanding and treating the hidden impact of obesity'.

- In 2019 ESHRE introduced its travelling fellowships for young members to join European training units and laboratories for three or six months with support for living expenses (3 months = 5000 euro, 6 months = 8000 euro). The Chair reported that ESHRE has allocated 150.000 euro to this project, whose aim is to 'open up further opportunities for young members'. Members under the age of 40 in training or in a junior post are eligible to apply.


Exchanges with other societies

- In 2018-19 ESHRE took part in exchange sessions of the Chinese Association of Reproductive Medicine (CARM), Latin-American Association for Reproductive Medicine (ALMER), Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction (ISAR), Indian Fertility Society (IFS), FIGO, and ASRM.

- The latest joint ESHRE/ASRM 'Best Of' meeting took place in New York in March 2019.


5. ESHRE journals

- Speaking on behalf of the ESHRE journals, Nils Lambalk, the new Editor-in-Chief of Human Reproduction, paid tribute to his predecessor Hans Evers and to the editorial team. He reported that this single editorial team for all four ESHRE journals is supplemented by six statistics/methods editors, 134 associate editors, and 4500 peer reviewers.

- Lambalk reported that from 1 January 2019, there were new editors-in-chief of Human Reproduction (Nils Lambalk), Human Reproduction Update (Arne Sunde), and Molecular Human Reproduction (Keith Jones). Siladitya Bhattacharya remains in place as EiC of ESHRE's open access journal HROpen.

- Lambalk reported that in 2018 there were 1536 submissions to Human Reproduction, 71 to Update, 308 to MHR, and 55 to HROpen.

 - Lambalk added that the acceptance rate for HR had fallen from 26% in 2012 to just 19% in 2018.

- Three ESHRE titles, HR Update, HR and Molecular Human Reproduction, have this year recorded impact factors of 12.878, 5.506 and 3.396 respectively. It was the ambition of former HR editor Hans Evers, said Lambalk, to achieve an impact factor of 5.0, which has now been more than met.

- Among the 'pending issues' for the ESHRE journals is 'Plan S', by which some investigators and their sponsors would seek publication only in open access journals. A strategic meeting on Plan S will be hosted by ESHRE in November 2019 to determine the best way ahead for the ESHRE journals.


6. Financial report

- Bruno Van den Eede, ESHRE's managing director, presented the balance sheet (income and expenditure) for 2018 and the budget for 2019. Income in 2018 (8,400,779 euro) was ahead of expenditure (6,755,720 euro), leaving a favourable balance of 1,645,059 euro. A budget similarly constructed to 2018 - to provide a 'conservative' positive balance - has been set for 2019.

- The Annual Meeting continues to provide the Society's greatest source of income (77% in 2018) and expenditure (42%).

- Total capital at the close of 2018 stood at 17,145,926 euro.

- The financial report for the year ending 31 December 2018 and the budget for 2019 were approved by the Assembly members.


7. Ratification of new Executive Committee

- Mariette Goddijn (NL), Nick Macklon (GB), Basak Balaban (TR), Borut Kovacic (SI) and Rita Vassena (ES) stood down from the Executive Committee having served two consecutive two-year terms.

- With the retirement of Kersti Lundin (SE) as immediate Past Chair, Roy Farquharson completed his term as Chair to replace her as immediate Past Chair. The appointment of Carlos Calhaz-Jorge (PT) as Chair Elect was ratified.

- Stratis Kolibianakis (GR) completed his term as ex officio ExCo member and Chair of the SIG Committee; he was succeeded by Giovanni Coticchio (IT) as the new Chair of the SIG Committee. Cecilia Westin (SE) also stepped down as an ex officio member and Chair of the Paramedical Group following its reorganisation as the SIG Nursing & Midwifery.

- Five ExCo members were confirmed to serve a second two-year term: Thomas Ebner (AT), Anja Pinborg (DK), Karen Sermon (BE), Thomas Strowitzki (DE), and Snežana Vidaković (RS).

- Five members were nominated to serve a first two-year term: Richard Anderson (GB), Baris Ata (TR), Valérie Blanchet (FR), Edith Coonen (NL), and

Ioana Rugescu (RO).

- The appointed of Cristina Magli (IT) as Chair of ESHRE was ratified by the members.

- In taking up her post, Magli thanked all those leaving the ExCo for their dedicated work and especially her 'chair' colleagues Roy Farquharson and Kersti Lundin for ensuring a smooth transition.


8. Election of honorary members for 2019

- The two nominees proposed by the Executive Committee for honorary membership in 2020 were Professor Basil Tarlatzis from Greece, a founding member and former Chair of ESHRE, and Professor Anders Nyboe Andersen from Denmark, whose work with ART registries in the 1990s helped establish ESHRE's European IVF Monitoring Consortium. Both nominations were ratified by the AAM.


There was no other business.

The next Annual Assembly will be on 7 July 2020 at the Bella Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark at 18.00.