• Guest editorial

ERO-Plenary Session Spring 2021
the FDI World Dental Federation objectives

DOI: https://doi.org/10.25241/stomaeduj.2021.8(2).edit.1

Michael Frank
ERO President
Editor-in-Chief Section

Dear Readers,
It gives me great pleasure to address you once again as President of the European Regional Organization (ERO) of the FDI World Dental Federation. As a follow-up to our General Assembly, which took place online as a live stream with simultaneous interpretation on Saturday 17 April 2021, I would like to give you an insight into the topics and decisions of this important meeting.
The Corona pandemic has changed many things, but nothing as much as the way we meet each other. Distance and social distancing determine our everyday life and our work. Although it is difficult for us dentists to keep our distance from our patients, we have discovered that many things can also work well over long distances – especially in the field of professional politics.
In short, our online General Assembly was a huge success and showed that ERO is fully capable of taking decisions even under pandemic conditions. Delegates from dental organizations from 34 European countries took part in the virtual meeting. It will certainly be possible to hold larger meetings again in the near future, but Corona has also shown us alternatives that help save resources.
At the beginning, the FDI President Dr. Gerhard Seeberger and the President of the European Dental Students Association (EDSA) James Coughlan addressed the meeting. For me personally, it was a great pleasure to welcome our guests of honour in the form of former World Dental Federation President Michèle Aerden (Belgium) and my esteemed predecessor in office, Anna Lella from Poland.
The dominant theme of my report was the pandemic and its consequences for the dental practice in the ERO member states. I was happy to give the delegates an insight into the work of the Executive Board under pandemic conditions, and I would like to share these insights with you.

Infection incidence
The ERO survey on the consequences of the Corona pandemic in cooperation with the Council of European Dentists (CED) unfortunately did not produce the large response we had hoped for. Nevertheless, the various surveys on Corona in general and on the incidence of infection in Europe and worldwide showed that dental practices were and are not places of increased risk of infection, either for patients or for the entire practice team; and this despite the very different general situation in the various countries, especially at the beginning of the pandemic.

WHO message
Another issue was the temporary confusion caused by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) announcement in August 2020 that all unnecessary treatments should be postponed due to infection control. Thanks to a timely intervention by the FDI and substantial support from the ERO, this was corrected by the WHO.

Vaccination campaigns
It is incomprehensible that in two thirds of all ERO member countries dentists are still excluded from participating in national vaccination campaigns. One of the declared goals of the ERO Board and the ERO member states is to continue to work towards changes in this area.

Voting and candidatures
The necessary votes, which are part of every General Assembly, could be carried out electronically thanks to a new procedure. The presentation of the candidates for the positions of Council members and Speakers in the ranks of the World Dental Federation also took place online this time. Prof. Paulo Melo (Portugal),
Dr. Michael Sereny (Germany), Dr. Sophie Dartevelle (France), Dr. Duygu Ilhan (Turkey), Dr. Anna Lella (Poland),
Dr. Susie Sanderson and Dr. Victor Chan (United Kingdom) each introduced themselves in short statements for the aforementioned positions in the FDI.
In addition to the reports of the Executive Board and the votes, the ERO working groups also presented their results on topics such as dental education, the ageing population, digitalization and artificial intelligence, the dental team, liberal practice, science and dental practice or the cooperation with the Council of European Dentists (CED) in the field of antimicrobial resistance. The reports from the member states as well as the reports of the individual working groups and much more information can be found on our website

Dear Readers,
The pandemic and the associated restrictions are not over, but even though we should continue to exercise caution and restraint and many people are still falling ill, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is visible. Some of the ERO countries have already returned to a certain normality, not least thanks to the vaccination campaigns, and this positive trend will – we all hope – continue in the coming months. Let us continue to meet this historic challenge with discipline and vision, and thus master it with confidence. I wish this for all of us, our families, friends and, of course, our patients.

And now, enjoy reading the rest of the Stomatology Edu Journal!

Michael Frank
ERO President
Editor-in-Chief Section

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Updated: April 15, 2022 — 10:22 pm