The 3rd official European Reference Network (ERN) conference took place in Vilnius, Lithuania, on the 9th of March. The event was well attended by around 600 healthcare providers, patient representatives, policy makers and health experts. The conference was an initiative of the European Commission, and was hosted by the Ministry of Health of Lithuania under the auspices of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU.
The conference started with an opening video message of President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Junker, and political statements of the Commissioner on Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis and the Ministers of Health of Lithuania (Aurelijus Veryga) and Malta (Christopher Fearne). Members of the European Parliament Françoise Grosstête and Bryan Hayes participated trough a video message as well.
The conference included four roundtables, addressing the following topics: organisation and management of ERNs; EU policies and supporting actions to ERNs; ERNs and national healthcare systems; and the way forward for the new ERNs.
The conference was concluded by a ceremony where Commissioner Andriukaitis officially awarded certificates to the 24 ERN Coordinators. They represented almost a thousand of multidisciplinary medical teams of more than 300 hospitals, located in 25 EU Member States and Norway.