ESO Announces Strategic Plan 2018-2020

Strategic Plan Summary


Across Europe, stroke accounts for over 1 million deaths each year. The risk of death due to stroke varies substantially between countries, and is more than three times higher in central and eastern Europe than in northern, southern and western Europe.

The vision of the European Stroke Organisation (ESO) is to serve 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 society has developed rapidly in recent years, including:

  • The launch and steady growth of the European Stroke Organisation Conference (ESOC) to over 4,000 participants
  • Exceptional membership growth, from 700 to over 7,000 professionals represented in the society in the period 2014 – 2017
  • Geographic expansion and outreach through ESO EAST (Enhancing and Accelerating Stroke Treatment)
  • The launch of ESO’s own journal – European Stroke Journal (ESJ)
  • Establishing the ESO Stroke Unit and Stroke Centre Certification programme
  • Recognition by European institutions of ESO’s leadership in stroke science

In this context, in 2017, ESO leadership undertook a strategic planning exercise to maintain and further develop ESO, and to guide the investment of ESO resources over the next 3 years.

Key Objectives

The principal strategic objectives for ESO in the next 3 years are about ensuring sustainable success, including:

  • Maintaining an exceptional level of quality output across ESO
  • Continuing to attract the top talent in the field, whether as members, leaders or contributors to ESO projects
  • Creating an organisational structure to encourage and facilitate further growth
  • Providing reliable and consistently good services to members, customers and partners
  • Further growth in individual membership, as well as via national societies and related associations.

Highlighted Projects

To support achieving its mission, ESO runs a wide range of projects in multiple areas, including:

Quality Improvement

ESO has developed a framework to achieve its quality improvement objectives – from Guidelines that identify best practice, to Certification that measures the capabilities of Stroke Centres and Units. ESO also endorses the Angels Initiative, building a community of at least 1,500 stroke centres and stroke-ready hospitals in Europe. The Angels project aims to increase the number of patients treated in stroke-ready hospitals and to optimise the quality of treatment in all existing stroke centres.

ESO-EAST is the first comprehensive programme of improving stroke care in eastern European countries through the participation of stroke professionals, professional organisations and local authorities in these countries. Key elements include measuring stroke care quality using a newly developed Registry of Stroke Care Quality (RES-Q) and the existing SITS registry and improving stroke care quality by providing education to stroke professionals.

WISE (Women Initiative for Stroke in Europe) highlights the need for research-based knowledge on gender differences in stroke in Europe and works to stimulate research in the field.


In addition to the flagship annual conference ESOC, ESO also runs multiple initiatives designed to help develop the next generation of leaders in stroke treatment, including Summer and Winter Schools, and educational and professional travel Scholarships. ESO also provides expert content for the e-learning portal, the World Stroke Academy.

Support Research

The European Stroke Journal demonstrates ESO’s engagement in promoting science in the stroke field, and provides a platform for the publication of scientific papers especially from Europe. The Trials Network Committee facilitates academic clinical stroke research in Europe, with a particular focus on clinical trials of treatments for acute stroke care, stroke prevention, and stroke recovery.


ESO and its stakeholders inform public-policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic, social, and health systems and institutions. ESO acts as a reference point for EU Institutions and collaborates with related societies, the Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE), and other (national) patient organisations.