In a time when more and more walls seem to be built, I am proud to belong to a Union that tries to break down walls and borders. This has been the quest of the European Ornithologists’ Union ever since it started. This was also very much the leading star at the 11th EOU conference in Turku that just ended. The conference assembled 406 delegates from an amazing 36 countries. This included representatives also from non-European countries, especially a number from Africa. The participation of delegates from Africa is of course especially nice since we share a lot of birds on a seasonal basis.

The program nicely put together by Scientific Program Committee and special thanks has to be forwarded to its chairman, Zoltán Barta. We had the pleasure to listen to 7 plenaries, 170 orals and view about 100 poster contributions. For the first time, poster pitching was performed which proved to be a success. To make it easy for us to attend the different scientific events, the conference was wonderfully organized by Toni Laaksonen, Jon Brommer and colleagues at Turku University. The Fledglings organized a special event and the Migrant Landbird Study Group held a Satellite meeting both very well attended. Thus, I am sure that the conference in Turku will stay in our memories for a very long time as a milestone for learning more about birds and also for meeting and discussing with colleagues all over the world.

At the General Meeting, the EOU replaced retiring council members by new members from many parts of Europe. We are also especially glad to have elected a new President-elect, Alfonso Marzal from Spain and for re-electing our secretary Susi Jenni-Eiermann, Switzerland. Special thanks to our retiring Past-President, Tomasz Wesołowski, who has in a devoted way served the Union for 12 years. Please find the Minutes from the General Meeting and much more information at the website.

However, now is also the time to look forward. We happily accepted a very exciting offer from Péter Pap to host the 12th EOU conference in Cluj, Romania in 2019. Erik Matthysen from Belgium will be the chairman of the SPC at this conference.

Those of you that have not joined the EOU there is an opportunity on this webpage. By doing so you will always stay informed about future EOU activities and it will make the EOU stronger. Finally, please use this website to post messages and engage in discussions. If you have ideas or suggestions about the website or the future of EOU, all the officers and council members will be keen to hear from you.

See you in Cluj 2019

Jan-Åke Nilsson

President EOU