The 1st Regional Meeting of National Brain Councils (NBCs), which brought together a wide range of health stakeholders from South-East Europe, was held on 10th July 2019 in Belgrade, Serbia. On this occasion, delegates from 9 different European countries, representing NBCs, patient groups, psychiatric associations and neuroscience societies, met in order to exchange views on regional challenges, joint initiatives and outreach activities. The meeting also provided an opportunity to share best practices and explore areas for further cooperation.
The meeting, organized with the support of the Serbian Brain Council, was held in conjunction with the FENS Regional Meeting (10th-13th July 2019).
Prof. Pavle Andjus (Serbian Brain Council) opened the meeting and welcomed the participants to Belgrade. Amongst other issues, he highlighted the value of uniting all actors that have a stake in neuroscience and mental health within national umbrella organizations. His opening address was followed by an introduction to the network of NBCs and the main advocacy initiatives of EBC.
Dr. Srecko Gajovic (Croatian Brain Council), Dr. Harry Alexopoulos (Hellenic Society for Neuroscience) and Dr. Ana-Maria Zagrean (National Neuroscience Society of Romania) subsequently presented some of the recent activities of their organizations aimed at fostering science and addressing the impact of brain disorders. These presentations were followed by a brainstorming session, moderated by Prof. Roland Pochet (Belgian Brain Council), which enabled all participants to exchange views on how to align advocacy strategies, strengthen the network of NBCs and reinforce synergies at the regional level. The event closed with an informal reception that was held in the city centre of Belgrade.