Thirty years of the Union of National European Paediatric Societies and Associations (UNEPSA)

Klaus Betke, Jochen H.H. Ehrich, Jan Janda, Manuel Katz, Armido Rubino

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6 Scopus citations


Background: The Union of National European Paediatric Societies and Associations was founded in 1976 in Rotterdam. Thirty years later, the authors-former presidents and secretaries general-present a retrospective on the activities and achievements of UNEPSA. In 2006, 36 of 46 (78%) European countries, including some countries of the former Soviet Union, were members of UNEPSA. UNEPSA has created a forum for the mutual discussion of matters concerning paediatrics. UNEPSA is closely linked with the International Pediatric Association (IPA). It was never UNEPSA's ambition to promote a uniform European paediatrics. In the 30 years of its existence, it became clear that the diversity of paediatric care in different countries in Europe is extreme. During the "cold war", UNEPSA was able to cross boundaries between socialist and capitalist countries in Europe, and it was due to the activity of individual members of the UNEPSA council that clinical co-operation and research activities were initiated crossing many political borders. Annual meetings of national paediatric presidents focus on the most urgent problems of paediatric health care. "Europaediatrics" became the tri-annual congress for all general paediatricians and paediatric sub-specialists in Europe. The main research activities of UNEPSA concentrated on identifying the demography of primary, secondary and tertiary care paediatrics in Europe. Conclusion: UNEPSA is an active paediatric association representing more than three quarters of all European countries. After 30 years, it is still an expanding and vital instrument in improving the medical care of all children and the co-operation of their carers in Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-357
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2007


  • Children
  • Demography
  • Paediatric societies
  • Paediatricians
  • Primary
  • Secondary and tertiary paediatric care


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