Summary of the WONCA Europe Council Meeting 2023

The WONCA Europe Council met in Brussels on Wednesday, 7 June 2023 for a regular annual meeting, before the opening of the 28th WONCA Europe Conference. 

The meeting began with a welcome from the President of WONCA Europe, Shlomo Vinker. Condolences were extended to Turkey for a recent earthquake and to the colleagues of Tajikistan for the loss of their President, Dr. Zukhra Mirzoeva Amondullayevna.

WONCA World President, Anna Stavdal, congratulated WONCA Europe on the conference.

The Council's composition and quorum were established, with 33 out of 42 member countries present.

The agenda and minutes of London 2022 were approved.

President Shlomo Vinker reported on WONCA Europe's Special Project, Awards, and EU Project grants. The president of the Ukrainian Association of Family Medicine, Dr. Oleksander Tolstanov, reported on the situation in Ukraine.

Financial reports and the triennium budget were presented by the Hon. Treasurer, Zalika Klemenc Ketis, and were unanimously approved.

Updates on the European Journal of General Practice (EJGP) were provided, including a positive trend in submissions and changes in the editorial team.

Updates on the Brussels 2023 conference were presented, and a statement on the shortage of the European primary healthcare workforce was discussed.

A POCUS Statement was unanimously supported, and the document, Desirable qualifications for general practice university posts, was endorsed.

The definition of General Practice/Family Medicine was updated to include emerging issues: One Health, Planetary Health and Sustainable Development Goals.

The WONCA Europe Scholarship Program was evaluated and will continue.

Bylaws changes were approved, including standardization of spelling, terminology, and the inclusion of EUROPREV in the Executive Board.

The 2026 conference location was decided to be Paris.

Awards and bursaries were announced for various achievements.

  • WONCA Europe 5-Star Doctor 2023: Pavlo Kolesnyk, Ukraine
  • Montegut Global Scholar 2023: Mihai Iacob, Romania
  • WONCA Europe Special Project 2023:


  1. EURODATA Study presented by semFYC, the Spanish Scientific Society of Family and Community Medicine with partners. Their project addresses equally workforce capacity building in family practice in Europe. The project aims to describe the official information available regarding PHC patient care during COVID-19 pandemic in the European economic region and OECD countries and build a common dashboard of PHC activity indicators to be shared in European countries and design a common contingency plan to face future pandemic enhancing the role of PHC, based on PHC indicators.
  2. Lessons Learned in Primary Care of Value to the Health Sector from the COVID-19 pandemic presented by EQUIP, with partners.  The aim of the project is to publish a Position Paper that summarizes the wide range of topics in publications of the European PRICOV-19 Study. This Position paper will make a statement about what actions are needed to improve the preparedness of primary care (PC) in the event of a future pandemic, and by whom.

Both winning projects will be awarded a prize of 5,000 EUR each.

A proposal for a WONCA Europe Special Interest Group on Policy Advocacy was presented and eventually  a working party for 3 years was approved.

Items suggested by member organizations, networks, and WESIGs were discussed, including pharmaceutical sponsoring, PRICOV-19 endorsement, introducing Balint groups, and a Respiratory SIG statement.

Future conferences in Dublin 2024 and Lisbon 2025 were presented.

The next Council meeting in Dublin was announced (25th September 2024 from 9.00 – 15.30), along with the WONCA Europe Brussels Open Meeting.

The meeting concluded with closing remarks, acknowledgments, and thanks from President Shlomo Vinker.