About ESO

About European Stroke Organisation (ESO)

The European Stroke Organisation (ESO) is a pan-European society of stroke researchers and physicians, national and regional stroke societies and lay organisations that was founded in December 2007. The ESO is an NGO comprised of individual and organisational members.

The aim of the ESO is to reduce burden of stroke by changing the way that stroke is viewed and treated. This can only be achieved by professional and public education, and by making institutional changes.

ESO serves as the voice of stroke in Europe, harmonising stroke management across the whole of Europe and taking action to reduce the burden of stroke regionally and globally.

The Mission of the ESO

The mission of the ESO is to reduce the burden of stroke.

ESO aims to improve stroke care by providing medical education to healthcare professionals and the lay public. By offering best practice approaches, the ESO’s goal is to harmonise stroke management in Europe. ESO works as the voice of stroke in Europe to bring about political change. The ESO focuses on European level projects while working toward global solutions.

The ESO is dedicated to the following purposes:

  • To promote awareness, management, teaching and research in all aspects of stroke;
  • To develop and promote public policies to reduce the number of deaths by stroke and to improve the care of stroke victims and the quality of life of stroke victims.
  • To reduce the burden of stroke throughout Europe
  • To develop and promote professional and public education;
  • To develop and promote other appropriate activities such as fundraising and prevention programs;
  • To develop, promote, and coordinate international teaching programs through national/regional organisations;
  • To advise and guide on fundraising skills in order to enable national foundations and societies to finance a greater level and range of activities;
  • To foster the development of an international communications system by encouraging the regional activities of organisations, stroke networks, foundations and organisations, as they operate within the goals and objectives of the organisation.


Executive Committee

Prof. Valeria Caso

Perugia, Italy

Valeria Caso is a stroke neurologist at the University of Perugia Stroke Unit. She earned her PhD from the University of Perugia in stroke medicine in 2003 and has been recently certified in the role of associate professor in Neurology.

Prof. Bart Van der Worp

Utrecht, Netherlands
President Elect

Bart Van der Worp is a neurologist with a special interest in cerebrovascular diseases at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, the Netherlands. He is a member of the recently founded Dutch CONTRAST consortium which aims to identify and test new treatments.

Prof. Urs Fischer

Bern, Switzerland
Secretary General

Urs Fischer has trained in Bern (CH), London (UK), San Francisco (USA) and Lomé (Togo), and he is Professor of Neurology at the University Hospital (Inselspital), Bern. He is the Head of the Neurological Emergency Team, which treats more than 1400 stroke patients per year.

Past President: Kennedy Lees (Glasgow, United Kingdom)
Vice Presidents: Miquel Gallofré (Barcelona, Spain); Charlotte Cordonnier (Lille, France)
Treasurer: Daniel Strbian (Helsinki, Finland)
Members at Large: George Ntaois (Larissa, Greece), Peter Schellinger (Minden, Germany)

Board of Directors

Rustam Al-Shahi Salman

United Kingdom

Marcel Arnold


Heinrich Audebert


Eivind Berge


Antoni Davalos


José Ferro


Karin Klijn


Martin Köhrmann


Atte Meretoja


Paola Santalucia


Nikola Sprigg

United Kingdom

Thorsten Steiner


Katharina Stibrant Sunnerhagen


Georgios Tsivgoulis


David Werring

United Kingdom

Council of Fellows

The aims of the Council of Fellows are to support the objectives of the European Stroke Organisation and to advise and report to the Board of Directors.

Dr. Hanne Christensen

Chair of the Council of Fellows

Hanne Christensen MD, PhD, DMSCi is Professor of Neurology with Special Focus on Stroke at the University of Copenhagen and Senior Stroke Consultant at Bispebjerg & Frederiksberg Hospitals; she has been a FESO since 2008.

Honorary Members

Prof. Werner Hacke

Heidelberg, Germany

(appointed in 2012)

Prof. Markku Kaste

Helsinki University Central Hospital
University of Helsinki

                                                                                                         (appointed 2013)

Prof. Didier Leys

Honorary_Members_Didier-Leys University of Lille
Lille, France

(appointed 2014)

Prof. Michael Brainin

michael_braininDonau University
Krems, Austria

(appointed 2016)

Head Office

Do you have questions regarding ESO? Are you interested to become a member?
Please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to assist you.

Phone: +41 61 686 77 76
Email: esoinfo@eso-stroke.org

Julia Bicher

Account Director

Daniela Niederfeld

Association Services Consultant

Martina Mutter

Membership Manager

Lena Schmid

Association Services Assistant

Annina Giger

Stroke Unit Certification
Project Coordinator

Jennifer Thomsen

Project Consultant

Luzia Balmer

Association Services Manager


History of the European Stroke Organisation (ESO)

The European Stroke Organisation (ESO) is a Paneuropean society of stroke researchers, national and regional stroke societies and lay persons` organisations that was founded in December 2007. ESO was formed as a merger of two previous stroke related associations, the European Stroke Council (ESC) and the European Stroke Initiative (EUSI).

At the General Assembly 2010 in Barcelona, the ESO members unanimously agreed to have the new registry office of ESO in Switzerland and to dissolve the German-based ESO within the next years.

ESO has successfully continued the projects of the EUSI and ESC and introduced new activities. In 2014, the ESO first co-hosted the bi-annual  ESO-Karolinska Stroke Update Conference. In 2015, ESO hosted its first annual conference, the European Stroke Organisation Conference (ESOC). After only 2 years, the ESOC has become the premiere event for stroke education and networking in Europe. In 2016, ESO launched the European Stroke Journal (ESJ) as the official scientific journal of the organisation.

Bylaws and Statues

The articles of association of the European Stroke Organisation (ESO) are available in PDF below.

ESO Advocacy

Through adequate advocacy programmes the ESO and its stakeholders aim to influence public-policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic, social, and health systems and institutions. Advocacy can include many activities that our organisation undertakes including media campaigns, public speaking to build awareness, commissioning and publishing research for an improved health care for stroke patients. Our straightforward and very transparent lobbying efforts are a form of advocacy where a direct approach is made to legislators on an issue which plays a significant role in modern healthcare systems and standardising medical trainings and education.

Health advocacy also encompasses direct service to the individual or family as well as activities that promote health and access to health care in communities and the larger public. ESO advocates support and promote the rights of the patient in the health care arena, help build capacity to improve public health and enhance health policy initiatives focused on available, safe and quality care for stroke patients. ESO advocates are suited best to address challenge of patient-oriented care in our complex healthcare system. Patient-centered care is also one of our overreaching goals of health advocacy, in addition to safer medical systems, and greater patient involvement in healthcare delivery and design.

Doctors, patient representatives, ombudsmen, educators, care managers, patient navigators and health advisers are health advocates who work in direct patient care environments, including hospitals, community health centres, long term care facilities or patient services programmes of non-profit organizations. They collaborate with other health care providers to mediate conflict and facilitate positive change, and as educators and health information specialists, advocates work to empower others.

ESO aims to build public awareness, to improve systems and services, to obtain funding and support, and to eventually build a coalition for stroke patients in Europe.

The ESO continually strives to represent an allied voice for Europe. To reduce the burden of stroke, we must bring attention to preventative measures as well as treatment and rehabilitation. The ESO works closely with the World Stroke Organisation (WSO), World Health Organisation (WHO), NCD Alliance and other global NGOs to represent the voice of stroke in Europe.
Some of the ESO`s recent advocacy activities include:

  • Together Against Stroke: Meeting between SAFE, ESO and the Industry:

  • ¨Prof. Bo Norrving, editor of the ESJ represented WSO and ESO at WHO European Regional Committee 66 (RC66) in Copenhagen, Denmark, September 2016.

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