The practice of phlebology has strong traditions in Europe and indeed the major advances in the field have originated in Europe. The many phlebological societies, meetings and congresses in Europe and the large number of delegates indicate the high interest in the field. Despite this, there are controversial issues and many areas still lack the scientific evidence that is demanded from today’s requirement of evidence based medicine.
An example of the above is the controversial issue in the investigation of chronic venous insufficiency. A group of phlebologists met in France in March 1997 with the intention to produce a scientific document on the subject. As a result, the consensus statement on the investigation of chronic venous insufficiency has been produced and published in Circulation (Circulation 2000;102:e126-e163).
There are many other areas in phlebology that need to be addressed in a highly scientific manner that demands high quality work with the high quality presentations that go with it. The creation of the American Venous Forum in the USA has attempted to provide this quality but many in Europe believe that this is not enough and that a European Venous Forum (EVF) producing quality work was also needed. Thus, the objective of the EVF is to develop education, scientific knowledge, research and clinical expertise of the highest quality and establish standards in the field of venous disease. The key word here is quality. For this reason, the meeting of the EVF is of short duration (2 days) and is confined to high quality presentations and discussions on controversial issues. The time devoted to discussion is more than the time devoted to the actual presentations. Many valuable European national societies with quality work do exist but they have very few opportunities for exchanges of points of view. The EVF does not want to compete with national European societies but to provide a forum for their best material to be presented.
The EVF is under the auspices of the Union Internationale de Phlebology and the International Union of Angiology and every European society should be represented. Membership is wide and open to anyone who has an interest in the field irrespective of medicine discipline.