Congress of joint European Neonatal Societies (jENS)

The Congress of joint European Neonatal Societies (jENS) is the first international neonatology congress where medical societies, scientists, healthcare professionals and parent representatives form a partnership and contribute equally to the congress programme. It is also the joint biennial meeting of EFCNI, ESPR (European Society of Paediatric Research) and UENPS (Union of European Neonatal and Perinatal Societies). Since the launch of the congress in 2015, EFCNI has been a member of the organising societies and the executive committee. At every meeting, EFCNI presents a whole day of pre-courses and several own scientific sessions covering topics that are important and relevant to parents.

In the last 4 years, jENS has developed into an important congress with around 2100 attendees. With an audience from all over Europe and overseas, jENS is a true international meeting, where neonatal physicians and nurses, paediatricians and parent representatives get together to discuss how neonatal care can be improved.


The 3rd jENS Congress will take place from 17 – 21 September 2019 in the beautiful city of Maastricht. Maastricht is located in the south of The Netherlands, bordering with Belgium and Germany, and is famous for its historic landmarks and its international flair.

On September 17, EFCNI is going to host pre-congress course on “Infant-family-centred developmental care”. The morning course has the title “Emotional closeness and support”, featuring talks by Prof. Renée Flacking (Sweden), the researcher Dr Hannakaisa Niela-Vilén (Finland) and Livia Nagy Bonnard from the parent organisation “Right(s) beside you” (Hungary). The afternoon course is also dedicated to family-centred care. Dr Margarita Tzaki, Dr Anastasia Kapetanaki, Dr Kalliopi Dritsakou and Dr Eleni Vavouraki from the Elena Venizelou Hospital Athens will share a Greek best practice example how they introduced family-centred care in the challenging setting of a Greek hospital.

EFCNI will also chair a number of sessions on patient safety, cultural aspects of neonatal care, family-centred care, the importance of measuring the quality of care, and on an interdisciplinary approach in research. In addition, EFCNI will also launch two position papers, one on parenteral nutrition and one on RSV (respiratory syncytial virus).

In the opening session in the early evening on September 17, the executive committee of jENS – Prof. Dr Charles R. Roehr, Silke Mader and Prof. Dr Corrado Moretti – will welcome all attendees and speakers, and will hand over the annual jENS award in a festive celebration.

18 September will start off at 09:00 with the EFCNI session “Patient safety”. We also recommend the session “Brain 1 – Neuroprotection for the preterm brain” at 09:00. At lunch time, the new EFCNI position paper “Addressing the nutritional emergency of preterm birth – Optimal practice in neonatal parenteral nutrition” will be launched! The launch will take place during the lunch symposium at 12:30 with the title “PN Standardization: Guideline recommendation and post implementation quality outcome measures” (supported by Baxter). Alternatively, you can visit another lunch symposium on the “Role of IGF-1 in foetal development and associated comorbidities in extrem prematurity” (sponsored by Takeda). At 15:00 in the afternoon, we recommend “COINN – Changing roles of neonatal nurses” or the EFCNI session “Comfort of the infant and the parents in the NICU”, also at 15:00.

On 19 September at 11:00 you are welcome to join “News from the delivery room” or the parallel session on “Family-centred care” chaired by EFCNI. You definitely should not miss the EFCNI luncheon symposium “How can we protect preterm infants from RSV infections?” at 12:30 with presentations by Prof. Angelika Berger and Prof. Luc Zimmermann. During this symposium our second position paper “How can we protect preterm infants from RSV infections?” will be launched. More interesting events: a workshop at 14:30 with the title “How to improve follow-up in very preterm infants: Lessons from the SHIPS project” and the session “Working together, saving lives, and ensuring babies and families thrive”.

20 September starts off at 09:00 with the interesting session: “Adults – born preterm” which focuses on long-term outcomes of preterm and very preterm infants. We also recommend the parallel session at 15:00 on nutrition “Human milk and milk banking”. How about joining the session “The importance of measuring the quality of care” at 15:00, chaired by Silke Mader and Prof. Andreas Flemmer? This session is important to everyone who wants to improve newborn care. During this session, Dr Johanna Pfeil from EFCNI will present the project “European Standards of Care for Newborn Health”.

21 September, the final day at jENS! We recommend “Neurological outcomes” at 09:00 and the last EFCNI parallel session “How does the interdisciplinary approach in research work?” with talks about the role of parents in neonatal research by Nicole Thiele from EFCNI and about the RECAP preterm project (Research on European Children and Adults born Preterm) by Professor Dieter Wolke. To round off the conference, how about joining the closing session at 11:30 with the title “Parents-doctors interface” that will include closing words and the Young Investigator Awards ceremony.

To get more information and to register please go to the official jENS congress website:

Read the Welcome Address by the European Society for Paediatric Research (ESPR), the Union of European Neonatal and Perinatal Societies (UENPS), and the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI) HERE


The 2nd Congress of joint European Neonatal Societies took place from 31 October to 4 November 2017 in Venice, Italy. The congress gathered together almost 2,000 participants from about 85 countries. They could attend remarkable sessions, impressive talks and took part in lively discussions. As part of the organising societies and executive committee, EFCNI had the honour to organise and chair one pre-course and six parallel and one plenary sessions. The EFCNI events covered a wide range of topics related to preterm birth such as pain reduction, family-centred developmental care, measurement of quality of care, digital patient care, and neonatal palliative care versus developmental care.

A Q&A with the four Presidents of this year’s jENS Congress

On the occasion of the congress, EFCNI launched the new position paper Involvement of parent representatives in neonatal research. It was developed by EFCNI in close collaboration with parent representatives from about 50 NGOs. The paper highlights current challenges and gaps as experienced by EFCNI and its partner organisations and suggests principles towards an infrastructure and framework that will lead to a beneficial partnership of both parties. EFCNI warmly thank the parent representatives from our network who actively contributed to the position paper. Special thanks to the EFCNI Parent Advisory Board whose members spent countless hours to realise this project.

Beyond this, another EFCNI publication was presented for the first time during the congress – a factsheet on the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). The leaflet features the problems this serious illness can cause in preterm babies and ways to prevent an infection. It was developed in close collaboration with Professor Luc Zimmermann who highlights the potential threat of the Respiratory Syncytial Virus: “RSV is a virus that is widely spread among the population, but many people don’t know about its existence. Since the lungs of preterm babies are not fully developed when they are born, they have an increased risk for a severe infection with RSV.”

We thank Professor Luc Zimmermann for his support and advice.

This year’s jENS congress in Venice also marked a change in the Council of the European Society for Paediatric Research (ESPR): Professor Luc Zimmermann handed over the Presidency to his successor Professor Charles Christoph Roehr. On this occasion, we would like to sincerely thank Professor Luc Zimmermann for his continuous commitment and strong support during the past years and we wish Professor Charles Christoph Roehr all the best for his new role. We furthermore look very much forward to our collaboration and many important common projects ahead.

After the congress is before the congress and we are already looking forward to the 3rd jENS congress taking place in Maastricht, the Netherlands, from 17 to 21 September 2019. See you in Maastricht!

Your EFCNI team

Special thanks to MCA Scientific Events for their organisational support.

Please find here a selection of images. If you wish to receive more images, please e-mail us.


The 1st joint European Neonatal Societies Congress (jENS) took place in Budapest from 16 to 20 September 2015. 
For the first time, the European societies in neonatology ESPR, ESN, UENPS, and EFCNI organised a joint congress together with the national peri- and neonatal societies (Hungarian Society of Perinatology and Obstetric, Anesthesiology Hungarian Society of Perinatology) and the international nursing organisation COINN. As one of the organising institutions, EFCNI had the honour to organise pre-courses and congress sessions with well-known experts from different fields. The excellent collaboration between all societies and the congress agency MCA made this exceptional and well-organised congress a doubtlessly memorable event for the more than 2,500 participants who represented 83 countries.

The congress offered a multifaceted programme for different target groups such as clinicians, nurses, researchers, parents and patient representatives. Its wide range of content included best-practice sharing, newest research, policy issues and ethical questions. The mix of well-renowned speakers and young researchers ensured fascinating presentations and lively discussions. Particularly remarkable were the high attendance and active participation throughout the sessions. This was also supported by the successful integration of new technologies such as a congress app, electronic posters and congress TV for participation and information.

In addition to the interesting parallel sessions, the congress offered a festive opening event where top-notch speakers presented best practice and on the edge research, intriguing plenary sessions and excellent networking opportunities. The attractive exhibition showcased most recent technical developments and invited visitors to stay, to exchange and to discover.

A particular highlight of the congress’s networking opportunities was the networking dinner on a boat on the river Danube which in addition to stimulating conversations offered beautiful views of Budapest by night.

At the end of the congress, its closing ceremony highlighted current European and global challenges in neonatology and child health. The organising societies are happy about the great success of this first jENS congress and look forward to its next edition, the 2nd jENS congress in Venice, Italy, in October 2017.