I am very happy to welcome you to the XXVII EAACI Congress taking place in Barcelona. Thirteen years after the Annual Meeting in Madrid, EAACI is back on

Spanish soil. We already know that Barcelona is attracting many delegates. The record number of abstracts and the number of pre-registered delegates has given us an indication. Is Barcelona not La ciudad de los prodigios - the City of Marvels? In 2008 Barcelona is not only the capital of the allergy community in Europe; the city is also our gateway to the Spanish speaking countries outside Europe.

The annual EAACI Congress is the highlight of all our events and initiatives. The Congresses are our tools for dissemination of science and knowledge, for education and training. But it is more than that. The EAACI Congress is our home. It is the place for meeting old friends and making new ones. It is the place where people from different specialties and disciplines are united in common interests. It is the place providing you with networking opportunities with your peers.

I know how much work has been done by Ignacio Ansotegui and his team, by Christian Virchow - our new Scientific Programme Coordinator - and the Scientific Programme Committee and by Cezmi Akdis, the Vice President for Congresses. They have worked very hard to put together a broad and outstanding scientific programme. I hope and I am confident that you will enjoy it, as you will enjoy the more social aspects of Barcelona. I would like to thank them and also our hosts, Tomás Chivato and the Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology.

This year is characterised by new initiatives: we are reorganising. We try to strengthen the internal bonds with all EAACI bodies and our external liaisons with other organisations; sister societies and national societies. We will propose important constitutional changes to the General Assembly. The European Exam will start off.
It will all happen in Barcelona!
See you soon.

Roy Gerth van Wijk
President, European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to Barcelona for the XXVII Congress of the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology.

You will see that the programme is extensive and stimulating, and that you will have ample opportunities to attend different exciting sessions throughout the Congress. This year, we will have a specific pediatric track and will address all aspects of the clinical care of allergic diseases.

Starting on Saturday, 7 June, we have an extensive programme of CME-accredited Post Graduate Courses – as well as the European Meeting of Allergy Nursing. Along the Congress, we will have many Practical Courses that have been designed to teach the basics of many of the practical skills used in Allergology. The free communications and poster sessions will get increased attention in Barcelona. The poster area is spacious, providing ample opportunity to interact with young scientists and other colleagues. A case report evening has been scheduled on Tuesday evening and a great number of awards are waiting for JMA members that participate in this session.

The Opening Ceremony, buffet and party on Saturday evening is the key event outside the scientific programme. Barcelona is an exceptionally beautiful city that offers a unique opportunity to walk from Roman remains to the medieval city, and then to the modern city. Barcelona, more than just a single city, is really a collection of multifaceted and diverse cities. The visitor, unfamiliar with its history, might be surprised that such a modern and enterprising city preserves its historic Gothic centre almost intact, or by the excellence of its architecture. In a privileged position on the north-eastern coast of the Iberian peninsula and the shores of the Mediterranean, Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain in both size and population.

We are confident that you will enjoy memorable days discovering more about allergy and immunology, as well as the spirit of Barcelona.

On behalf of the Local Organising Committee I wish you a wonderful stay in Barcelona!

Ignacio J. Ansotegui MD, PhD
Congress President EAACI 2008

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