Dear Colleagues,

EULAR will take its Annual Scientific Congress to Madrid, Spain, from 12-15 June in 2019. The annual EULAR Congresses comprise the major event in the calendar of world rheumatology. Madrid 2019 will again provide an unique event for the exchange of scientific, clinical and patientfocussed information on a global basis. In 2019, we will be delighted in particular to celebrate our close cooperation with paediatric colleagues – thus our congress will be jointly organised with the paediatric rheumatology society (PReS), assimilating knowledge across the spectrum of the "decades of life".

We will offer a platform to facilitate interaction between physicians, scientists, patients of all ages and their families, health professionals and professionals representing the pharmaceutical industry, from across Europe and around the world. Moreover, we will proudly disseminate the latest progress in our exciting and increasingly diverse array of EULAR and PReS supported activities, all focussed on improving the well-being of people with, or affected by, rheumatic musculoskeletal diseases.

EULAR Congresses arouse tremendous interest in terms of participation reflected by the remarkable quality of contributions. Possibilities for new treatments as well as the impact, burden and cost of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases for the individual and society will remain our focus. EULAR Congress 2019 will address once again a wide range of topics including innovation in population, health service, clinical, translational and basic science. Sessions dedicated to People with Arthritis and Rheumatism in Europe (PARE), Health Professionals in Rheumatology (HPR) will feature prominently! High quality health care industry sessions providing in-depth and focussed insights will again be offered.

Our poster presentations and poster tours will offer a highly interactive exchange of knowledge and solutions amongst participants. Our programme will increasingly reflect the participation of the EULAR EMEUNET organisation of young rheumatologists that continues to attract young colleagues to the meeting and thus offer an exciting vision for our discipline. Finally, the unique opportunity to create our congress together with PReS, enabling interaction and stimulation of both fields is especially stimulating. Paediatric rheumatology encompasses many fascinating recently-recognised auto-inflammatory diseases that directly inform (adult) rheumatologists. Mutual knowledge exchange is assured and will be of undoubted benefit to all!

We are very happy to visit the City of Madrid again. In recent years, we have enjoyed this vibrant city with its remarkable history, architecture, galleries, museums (consider the breathtaking Prado, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza), ambience (Plaza de Cibeles, Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor) and delicious food, all of which will once again provide an excellent background for clinical exchanges, international collaborations and renewal of friendships. We will take great pleasure in welcoming physicians, including our paediatric colleagues, patients, their families, health professionals and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry to EULAR 2019, and hope that their stay in Madrid will be informative, educational and thoroughly enjoyable.

Johannes WJ Bijlsma
EULAR President