Members of our 18 Speciality Societies can also develop their own programmes when associated with EFORT.
(Bulletin of EFORT, Issue No. 1, November 1994)
The idea of creating an organisation to link all the national orthopaedic associations in Europe began life in a Committee the primary function of which was to organise a single Combined Meeting of these associations to mark the creation of the European Single Market in 1993.
The concept of such a Combined European Meeting can be traced back to a meeting of the International Hip Society in New York in April 1989 when the idea was discussed with a number of French surgeons who were also members of this society.
Later that year, at a Course held at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Michael Freeman and Jacques Duparc had more discussions to develop this further. In the fist instance the forum moved to COCOMAC, an organisation which linked a number of European national associations to provide instructional opportunities where it was quickly decided to hold a Combined Meeting early in 1993 in Paris. Happily, SOFCOT agreed to underwrite the costs of the Meeting.
Accordingly, a Steering Committee composed of the Presidents of all the west European (not just European Union) national associations of orthopaedics and traumatology was set up under my chairmanship. It appointed a Programme Chairman and co-operated with SOFCOT which provided the local organisation. It soon emerged, however, that in this Committee there was support for the creation of a continuing organisation which might arrange subsequent meetings and carry out various other functions.
The Steering Committee met in Northern Italy in early 1992 and again in Munich in May 1992. At these meetings, the Statutes for a possible organisation were evolved and broad decisions were taken as to its nature and its objectives.
Consideration was given to the possibility of creating an organisation modelled on the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; individual orthopaedic surgeons in Europe would have the opportunity of joining the new organisation if they wished, in addition to membership of their national associations.
It was felt however, that an entirely new organisation on those lines would not be wholly appropriate since it might conflict with the activities of the national associations and would create considerable administrative burdens on the organisers.
The alternative was preferred therefore of linking the national associations into a co-operative entity to be called a "Federation". The title of this organisation was eventually agreed as "The European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology" (EFORT).
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