Minutes of the Annual Assembly of Members, held in Copenhagen, Denmark


Minutes of the Annual Assembly of Members, held in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Tuesday 27 June 2023 at 18.00 CEST.


1. Minutes of the last meeting

The minutes of the 2022 Annual Assembly of Members, having been published in Focus on Reproduction (01 August 2022), were unanimously approved by the members present.

2. Matters arising

There were no matters arising.

3. Membership of the Society

Membership of the Society (as June 2023) stood at 10,203. This was an increase of almost one thousand members on last year’s figure.

European members accounted for more than half (61%) the total. The top European membership countries were UK (755 members), Spain (467), Italy (433), Germany (426) and the Netherlands (389). India (674 members), similar to 2022, occupies the leading non-European place, with the USA represented by 412 members.

4. Approval of the updated bylaws of the Society

ESHREs Managing Director presented the update of the bylaws of the Society, which was initiated based on a new Companies and Associations Code entered into force in Belgium, where ESHRE has its registered offices. The update included reformulation of the disinterested purpose, the object of the association and changes pursuant to the entry into force of the new “Companies and Associations Code “. The updated bylaws were posted on the website 45 days prior to the Annual Assembly, and no motions had been received. There were no objections, and the updated bylaws were approved, subject to the condition precedent of its authentication before a Belgian public notary during an extraordinary general assembly to be held after the annual assembly of members.

5. Society activities

Annual Meeting

For this year’s annual meeting, organised as a ’hybrid’ event of live and online attendance, there were 2027 registrations for the precongress courses and 8920 for the main programme, of whom 90% attended in person. These were similar to previous years. Participants represented 129 countries, with the greatest number of participants from Spain (568), followed by UK (516), Italy (433), France (387) and Denmark (379). There was a good attendance from non-European countries, with India represented by 549 registrations.

There were 2109 abstracts submitted this year, an increase over last year’s 1623 and exceeding the peak years of 2019 (1854 abstracts) and 2018 (1898).

ESHRE’s 2024 annual meeting, the Society’s 40th will take place in Amsterdam from 7 to 10 July.

Campus meetings

In 2022, 13 Campus workshops were organised, two as online events and eleven as hybrid events. Overall, 1658 people participated in the Campus workshops. The forty-three webinars organised in 2022 attracted 4796 participants. For 2023, 11 Campus workshops and forty-three webinars had been planned so far.

Most of the programmes from ESHRE Campus workshops and webinars are available for members on demand via the Society’s eCampus platform.

Data collection

The work of the European IVF Monitoring Consortium (EIM) and PGT Consortium was presented. The EIM group has been collecting data retrospectively since 1997 presently from 40 European countries. The data from 2019 were published (July 2023) on the ESHRE Pages of HROpen. Preliminary data for 2020 were presented at this year’s annual meeting. Deadline for data collection for 2021 is April/May 2024.

Future EIM projects include an update of the Survey on ART and IUI: legislation, regulation, funding, and registries in European countries. The results will be published and available as interactive maps on the ESHRE website.

The report included a short presentation of the European Monitoring of Medically Assisted Reproduction (EuMAR) project, a three-year project aiming to develop a pan-European registry of prospective cycle-by-cycle data on the use and outcomes of MAR treatments. The project was co-funded by the EU, through an EU4Health grant. EuMAR responds to the need for biovigilance, cross-border care, harmonization, accessibility of data, and flexibility to connect to other registries.

PGT Consortium Data XXI (2018) have been published in HROpen. The report on the data for 2019-2020 (XXII-XXIII) is planned for 2024. Data XXIV (for 2021) will be the last prospective data collection. As of 2022, the PGT data collection will be changed to aggregated data collection.

Guidelines and recommendations

ESHRE is involved in the development of full guidelines, with high-quality evidence to support ‘everyday clinical decision-making’, and recommendations for good practice where scientific evidence is ‘limited’. The first guideline was published 10 years ago.

There are now 25 ESHRE guidelines and recommendations in the portfolio, the most recently published or updated on Unexplained Infertility, fertility-sparing treatment of patients with endometrial carcinoma, Recurrent Pregnancy Loss, and Recurrent Implantation Failure. Good Practice Recommendations on Add-ons in ART are expected very soon.

ESHRE accreditation and certification

There was a report on ESHRE’s certification schemes that enable individual members to demonstrate their expertise and competence; the accreditation scheme is for centres as a mark of their quality of service and training.

Individual certification has been available to ESHRE members in embryology since 2008 and remains ESHRE’s largest certification programme. This year there were 227 applications for clinical qualification and 168 for senior; exams were held on 3 June and results are expected by mid-July.

ESHRE programmes in reproductive endoscopic surgery (since 2013), fertility nursing/midwifery (since 2015), and for subspecialist trainees as part of a European Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine (since 2018 and approved by UEMS) continue to be well supported.

ESHRE’s Training Centre Accreditation scheme for subspecialist training (since 2004) was briefly presented, as well as the ART Centre Certification for Good Clinical Practice (since 2019). A new accreditation scheme was announced in 2021 for centres with training in embryology. Applications from training centres will open in Q4 of 2023.

ESHRE research grants

Two research grants were awarded following a call for proposals launched in 2022. For the call on ‘the development and evaluation of e-health support and educational programmes,’ a grant of 75000 euro was awarded to Sofia Gameiro (Cardiff University, UK). For the call on ‘the long-term clinical consequences of infertility and fertility treatment,’ a grant of 200 000 euro was awarded to Anja Pinborg (Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark). These projects will run for a maximum of 3 years.

A new call for proposals will be launched in January 2024.

Exchanges with other societies

ESHRE’s exchange programmes are ‘very active,’ with several precongress courses and sessions from friendly societies at this years’ Annual meeting, but also reciprocal precongress courses and sessions at ASRM and other conferences.

The Best of ESHRE / ASRM 2023 meeting was planned for 2 to 4 March 2023 in Orlando (USA), but it was cancelled due to the number of registrations being below expectations. The next Best of ASRM / ESHRE meeting, due to be held in Lisbon, Portugal in 2025, will continue as planned.

Policy making, advocacy and EU affairs.

Policy making, advocacy and EU affairs is a growing activity of ESHRE. The work of the committee is concentrated on the revision of the revision of the EU legislation on Substances of Human Origin (SoHO), Participation in the formulation of technical guidance on SoHO, Advocacy for increased EU funding for research on infertility and MAR, Engagement on Medical Devices, and following the EU initiative on a European Health Data Space (EHDS)

Future strategies

In the course of 2022/2023, the Executive Committee drafted a strategy for ESHRE for the next 5 years. Input from the ESHRE Members, through a survey and a SWOT analysis, was incorporated into an updated Mission Statement, as well as four strategic objectives. These objectives included:

  • Streamline core business processes.
  • Expand the educational resources.
  • Support research in reproductive biology and medicine.
  • Raise awareness on fertility and promote reproductive rights.

The objectives were subsequently converted into seventeen operational objectives. The development of workplans is ongoing.

6. Human Reproduction journals

Nils Lambalk, editor-in-chief of Human Reproduction, paid tribute to the journals’ editorial teams, the editorial office team, and the many people involved and supportive of the ESHRE Journals.

Lambalk reported that manuscript submissions reduced in 2022, returning to the pre-COVID numbers for HR and HRU. For HROpen, manuscript submissions kept increasing annually from seventy submissions in 2019 to twenty-nine submissions in 2022.

7. Financial report

Bruno Van Den Eede, ESHRE’s managing director, presented the balance sheet (income and expenditure) for 2022 and the budget for 2023.

Income in 2022 (8,861,253.56 euro) was well ahead of 2021 income (5,414,034.89 euro), explained by Van Den Eede by a return to an in-person annual meeting, as also shown in increased expenditure (8,027,915.44 euro in 2022, compared to 3,338,060.64 euro in 2021). Van Den Eede reminded that the balance sheet income of 2021 included a capital gain from investments of around 1.6 million euro, but there was also a loss of 955,911.53 euro in 2022. Even with this exceptional financial loss, there was a positive net result of 833,338.12 euro in 2022.

The budget devised for 2023 projected an income of 9,374,237.27 euro, an expenditure of 8,595,941.18 euro and a positive balance of 778,296.09 euro.

Total capital at the close of 2022 stood at 16,890,600.25 euro, allocated to various funds, leading to the conclusion that ‘ESHRE is in very good financial shape’.

The financial report for the year ending 31 December 2022 and the budget for 2023 were approved by the Assembly members.

8. Ratification of the new Executive Committee:

The following changes to the Executive Committee were proposed and approved:

  • Retirement of the current Chair – Carlos Calhaz-Jorge – and installation of Karen Sermon as the new Chair.
  • Anis Feki to be appointed as the new Chair-Elect.
  • Richard Anderson (UK), Baris Ata (TUR), Ioana Rugescu (RO), Valérie Blanchet (FR), and Edith Coonen (NL) to step down as members having served two terms of office.
  • Aisling Ahlström (S), Giovanni Coticchio (IT), Kirsten Tryde Macklon (DK), Verena Nordhoff (DE), Nikolaos Polyzos (ES) to serve a second two-year term as members.
  • Gurkan Bozdag (TUR), Dinka Pavičić Baldani (HR), Andrea Romano (NL), Stéphane Viville (FR), Lucy Frith (UK), Hilde Cotton (NO), as new members of the Committee.
  • Willem Ombelet (B) to step down as ex officio member and Chair of the SIG Committee and to be succeeded by Carlos Plancha (PT) as the new Chair of the SIG Committee.
  • Retirement of Cristina Magli, the current Immediate Past Chair.

9. Election of the Honorary Members for 2024

The honorary ESHRE memberships proposed for 2024 were Hans Evers (the Netherlands) and Christina Bergh (Sweden). They will be awarded at the next live opening ceremony in Amsterdam in 2024, a fitting opportunity for everyone to celebrate their awards.

10. Any other business.

There were no comments raised as any other business.

The next Annual General Assembly will be on 9 July 2024 at 18.00 at the annual meeting in Amsterdam.

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