Dear colleagues,
On behalf of the Local Organising Committee and the German Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology I am very pleased to welcome you to the 20th Congress of the EAACI to be held in the New Berlin 9-13 May, 2001. Now, 12 years after the fall of the wall, Berlin is a city in upheaval and renewal. Its face changes from day to day. The city is gradually becoming what it once was, a centre point and junction, an original catalyst of the economic, academic, political and of cultural life. In many places the city has rediscovered itself and the search continues. Berlin’s asset is the metropolitan diversity of an open city. One of the symbols of this openness is the new Reichstag (House of Parliament), a transparent dome recognisable in the EAACI 2001 Berlin logo.

With the unification of West and East Berlin, hardly any field of research is underrepresented in the richness of Berlin as a scientific centre. There has been a long tradition of research in cell biology and immunology in the city of Berlin. The EAACI Congress will offer special lectures by Nobel laureates reminding us of pioneers like Robert Koch or Paul Ehrlich.

Besides the traditional plenary and main sections, the Scientific Programme Committee together with the Local Organising Committee will do their best to attract the interest of colleagues from both basic research as well as clinical allergy. “Pro and con discussions” and “Meet-the-Professor Seminars” will offer multiple opportunities for covering topics in a stimulating way.

For the first time the EAACI Congress will provide a special programme for allied health professionals.

The Allergy Awareness Day on May 12 is supposed to become another real highlight where it is foreseen to offer discussions between organisations and politicians regarding allergy as a public health issue and point out the need for patients towards allergy in Europe.

During the recent years the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology has become a strong society, a real leader in the field. The 20th Congress of the EAACI in Berlin will provide you with an update on recent developments in research and a stimulating forum for discussions.

We will do our best to make the 20th Congress of the EAACI an unforgettable event.

Welcome to the New Berlin in 2001.

Ulrich Wahn
President of 20th Congress of EAACI

The EAACI met in West Berlin for its XIV Congress during the mandate of our unforgettable President Mladen Debelic. A few weeks later the Berlin wall fell, opening the horizons on a wider Europe where the goal of unification gave way to the goal of harmonisation.

These ten years have seen tremendous progress in science and technology in our discipline. In spite of the unprecedented growth of the Academy, harmonisation of our speciality and a uniform high standard in science and healthcare, these are still unsolved issues and a challenge for the new millennium.

Upon returning to Berlin, I was astonished to see how effective Germany was in meeting the needs of progress and harmonisation. On the other hand, it was the very changes resulting from the unification of East and West Germany that allowed German science to produce groundbreaking data on the effect exerted by a changing environment and life on allergic diseases.

It is therefore not by chance that the Academy starts the new millennium from Berlin; we go to Berlin to learn from experienced hosts how to progress in science and technology, all together, and with renewed attention on environmental health.
Enjoy with us the New Berlin and EAACI’s 20th Congress.

September 2000

Sergio Bonini
President of EAACI