In 1989, the European Council on Eating Disorders (ECED) has been founded in the spirit of an informal and truly European collaboration and exchange of eating disorders clinicians and researchers. Now it is my privilege to convene the 9th General Meeting of the European Council on Eating Disorders (ECED) in Innsbruck, Austria.

This meeting is aimed at presenting the present state of art and science in the field of eating disorders. Thus, we cordially invite colleagues (clinicians & researchers) from all 25 European Union member states to attend. In addition, EU neighbouring countries from Eastern and Southern Europe and the Mediterranean are invited. As attendance is limited, only a small number of participants from "outside Europe" can be accomodated; however we are eager to make connections and foster dialogue on our small planet.

In contrast to many "mass market conferences", the focus of our Meeting is on dialogue, contact and interaction. Thus, debates in the tradition of good old parliamentarism, are the core format. Obviously, the scientific world language, nowadays English, my be a hindrance for non-native speakers. Thus, we would like to remind native speakers first to slow down in their own contributions and second to look on content, not form in non-native speaker; we would like to remind non-native speakers to be curagious.

We are confident that the multi-disciplinary format of the Conference will be thought-provoking and exciting. Specifically, this meeting will address issues of food and weight preoccupation to raise awareness of fat- and weight-prejudice in a fat-phobic society. The programme will include special sessions dedicated to improve cooperation of all European Scientific Societies on ED and of all European Self-Help Associations for ED. In addition, a special section will be dedicated to all specialized ED training courses all over Europe aimed at comparing existing models and experiences and possibly adjust them at an European level in the future.

We would be proud if this meeting could be a further step towards improving conditions for the sufferers and carers of a sometimes glamourized but frequently stigmatized condition.

We look forward to meeting you in Innsbruck, a city with amazing scenery in the heart of the Alps and of Europe.

Günther Rathner Innsbruck, January 2005
© G. Rathner 2005 | Weiherburggasse 1 A | A-6020 Innsbruck | fax: +43-512-58 36 54