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Welcome from the UEG President

I thought I should take this opportunity at the start of the New Year, to say how delighted I am to be taking over as your President for 2014–2015, and to offer special thanks to my predecessor, Colm O’Morain, who has done such a spectacular job in taking UEG forward during the last two years. We continue to grow as an organisation, both in size and stature, and I believe the level of professionalism by which the organisation is managed is now exemplary. I would also like to thank our retiring Secretary General, Christoph Beglinger, who has served UEG in many roles, and I believe should be regarded as one of the modern ‘founding fathers’ of UEG as it entered the 21st Century. At the end of November, I took the opportunity to get together the new Executive Team: Michael Manns (President Elect), John Atherton (Secretary General) and Erik Schrumpf (Treasurer), together with Doris Mo¨stl and her senior administrative team. This proved to be an opportunity to talk through our programme for the next 2 years and, in particular, to consider what issues are most pressing for UEG as we face some of the uncertainties in healthcare delivery, funding for academic activities (particularly research) and the broader issues of how UEG can ensure a sustainable financial future in these times of economic uncertainty. During the first half of 2014, we will need to identify our future key strategic goals, and bring them together in a new Strategic Plan 2015-2018. John Atherton will take the lead co-ordinating role for the plan, but we will be seeking input from Council, especially during our Strategy Meeting in July 2014, and also from our key committees that drive the core activities of UEG. Amongst these key strategic goals, I personally would like to explore ways of enhancing the external impact of UEG, not only through the established route of the Public Affairs Committee, but also through innovations proposed by our new press agency, Spink, who start work for us in January. We will also need to focus on ways of diversifying our income to reduce our dependency on UEG Week. Our investment in online learning and UEG Journal, should go some way to securing our financial future.

United European Gastroenterology Journal 2014, Vol. 2(1) 57 ! Author(s) 2014 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/2050640614521915 ueg.sagepub.com

Finally, I want to continue to support our efforts to promote young talent in UEG, to ensure that we improve the gender balance in all of our committees and during UEG Week, and to continue to develop the great progress we have made with regional representation by introducing a young talent group, and a network club for UEG Week 2014. During this coming year, I want us to take a close look at how our committees are working, and to ensure that they are all fit for purpose. I want to continue to develop the initiative, started by Colm, to promote closer working between our main committees, Council and the Executive. Each member of the Executive Team will have responsibility for liaising with one of our main committees. The new PR agency are currently putting together an Action Campaign, and will be working closely with the Public Affairs Committee, Council and the Executive Committee and, of course, with our Central Administration. The Future Trends Committee is completing two important pieces of work, namely the major study of the burden of gastrointestinal and liver disease in Europe, and also the Future Scenarios exercise which looks forward 30 years at possible healthcare scenarios in Europe. We hope these initiatives will assist our longer term planning for our clinical disciplines and UEG more broadly. In due course, Council will need to consider how best to deal with the Futures agenda in the years ahead. We shall also be looking closely at the way in which the Education Committee works, and to consider a proposed restructuring to allow us to move forward rapidly as we invest further in online distance learning. There are exciting times ahead, and no doubt there will be plenty for us all to do in the coming two years. UEG is an extremely strong position, and I look forward to developing the future vision with you during 2014. May I wish you all a very happy and peaceful New Year. Michael Farthing President and Chair Future Trends Committee University of Sussex UK

Welcome from the UEG President.

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