The European Eye Bank Association (EEBA) is a technical-scientific organization comprising individual and non-profit institutional members from eye banks across Europe and beyond. Founded with the simple objective of sharing information regarding eye-banking, the Association is today the leading pan-national association in Europe dedicated to the advancement of eye-banking and an authoritative reference point for eye banks wishing to work according to quality standards.
Our annual meetings, and the collection and exchange of detailed information from European Eye Banks now amount to a significant track record. The Association has a level of maturity which gives it a voice with which to speak with some confidence on eye banking in Europe and remains a scientific organization committed to defining minimum standards and to encouraging banks to produce Standard Operating Procedures in order to maintain the highest possible standards for quality and safety.
The first meeting of the European Eye Bank Association (EEBA) took place in Århus, Denmark in 1989. The handful of people present, invited by Professor Niels Ehlers could not have known how the organisation would develop, only that there was much to learn and share about eye banking. This open-minded approach is surely one of the reasons why the EEBA can claim today to be a successful organisation.
The regular annual meetings and collection and exchange of information that has occurred now amounts to a significant track record. The association has a level of maturity which gives it a voice with which to speak with some confidence on eye banking in Europe.
Whilst informality has always been a key characteristic of the EEBA recent developments, particularly concerning the regulation of tissue banking in several EU member countries, have meant that the Association felt that it needed to spend more time discussing and revising its objectives, rules, and finances. Therefore, in September 2002, the EEBA Committee found it appropriate to meet for the first time between annual meetings in order to have a chance to be briefed on new developments prior to the regular annual meeting.
At that meeting a number of important decisions were taken. It was decided that a part-time secretariat would be established and hosted at the Veneto Eye Bank Foundation in Venice (Italy). Gary Jones is covering the post as Executive Officer. The composition of the Committee was clearly defined as 12 members including a President, Vice President, posts of a Secretary, Treasurer and 9 elected members which includes at least one technical representative, all with voting rights, plus a Directory Supervisor and a Website Manager. Terms of office are for 3 years. It is hoped that the size of the Committee will allow enthusiastic and committed members to come forward for election so that a good cross-section of the 24 countries currently participating in the EEBA will be represented.
The Association remains a scientific group committed to defining minimum standards. It is committed to encouraging banks to produce Standard Operating Procedures as required by the relevant authorities in each country. The Association will remain sensitive to comments on the design and content of the Directory and will attempt to make data collection processes as easy to complete as possible. As always you are encouraged to complete activity forms as accurately and promptly as soon as possible.
Only those eye banks will be published on the website and in the Directory booklet who provide their anual data in time and with at least one dues-paying member.