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History of the European Laryngological Society

The ELS was founded on January 21st 1995 in Brussels by a founding committee and the first General Secretary Marc Remacle. The aim was to create a platform for laryngologists to come together and present their work – something that did not exist at that time. Laryngology in Europe had so far only been represented in national and regional oto-rhino-laryngologic societies. Consequently, laryngologic topics were mainly covered and discussed in a rather scattered and often marginal manner at various conventions.

The headquarter of the new scientific society was chosen to be based in Brussels which is still is,  and the backbone of the society was chosen to be the Presidential council (board of directors), the Scientific council and the General assembly just as it is today.


Founding committee Profs. Drs: Hiltrud Glanz, Giessen; Oskar Kleinsasser, Marburg; Bernard Luboinski, Villejuif/Paris; Jan Olofsson, Bergen; Italo Serafino, Veneto

The first conference was held in Marburg, Germany with Prof. Dr. Oskar Kleinsasser as President. The ELS has held its biannual meetings all over Europe since. Additional to the conferences, biannual workshops were instated to provide a more low-key scientific gathering in the years that the main conference was not held. Past locations of conferences and workshops and their respective Presidents are summarized in the tables below.


Early collaborations with affiliated groups and societies included those with the European Larynx Research Group (ELRG), the European Group for Functional Laryngectomy (EGFL), the International Association of Phonosurgery (IAP) and the American Broncho-Esophagological Association (ABEA). Other links were those with the European Head and Neck Society (EHNS), the Pan European Voice Conference (PEVOC) and the European Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology (ESPO).

Scientific Council meeting at the 5th ELS Conference in Lisbon in 2004

In 2000, the Society adopted the European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology as its official journal which has remained so until today. This was negotiated by Jan Olofsson, at this time editor-in chief of the European Archives and Marc Remacle, General Secretary. At this time, the impact factor of the European Archives was rather low and this was seen as a win-win agreement to further the aims of both the ELS and the journal..  For instance, publication of the congresses abstracts in a special issue of the journal was agreed on. ELS members also received a special discount for registration. Today members receive the journal for free as part of the membership benefits. And indeed, this cooperation helped attract papers of better quality improving the IF in the  years to follow.


In 1998, during the 2nd congress in Rome, scientific working committees were introduced in which projects were handled according to topics such as laryngeal cancer, laryngeal papilloma, laryngeal imaging and so forth. Many of the well-known consensus and guideline papers that have been produced by the ELS are the results of the work within these committees. The principle agreement at that time was that these committees were informal and temporary formations, justified only by the work accomplished. One special committee is the committee on World Voice Day (April 16th) which has been led by Prof. Dr. Mario Andrea since its introduction in 2002 during the 4th congress in Brussels. 

Picture of scientific committee, during a preparatory meeting for the 6th congress, in Nottingham, UK, 2006 under the Presidency of Pat Bradley

While the society President has always had the great task of organizing the biannual conference, the daily running of the society has traditionally been the task of the General Secretary. The society has so far had three long-serving past General Secretaries in the form of Profs. Drs. Marc Remacle (1995-2008), Frederik Dikkers (2008-2016) and Elisabeth Sjögren MD, PhD (2016-2023). For many years, they were supported by our long-serving administrator Dr. Maria de la Mota who was with the society until 2018 when Guarant International formally took over this task.

Frederik Dikkers (left) and Marc Remacle, in Antalya (Turkey) in 2007

Maria de la Mota, past administrator past General Secretaries

In 2015, the ELS was proud to endorse and co-organize the first European Laryngological Live Surgery Broadcast. In this yearly event live procedures in the area of laryngology are streamed online to support education and training in this field. The program is coordinated and moderated from the central studio of the Poznan Supercomputer Networking Centre in Poznan, Poland. Many of the surgeons and moderators are ELS board members and the society is proud to support the primary organizers of this event Prof. Witold Szyfter and Prof. Malgorzata Wierzbicka from the Poznan University of Medical Sciences. Since then, this yearly event has grown to catering for tens of thousands of viewers from over 190 countries and is a major educational event in the laryngology calendar.

Pictures from the 1st Laryngological Live Surgery Broadcast

With more and more emphasis placed on the structuring of education and training within the medical field in Europe during the past decade, the ELS has actively contributed to this movement by proposing a structured fellowship in Laryngology which was ratified by the UEMS in Budapest in 2018. The first Also, to further the societies aims in in this area, the Presidential Council decided to adopt a member specifically for the portfolio of education and training in that year.

The Presidential Council of the ELS now meets several times a year to continue to run society business. In the Covid-19 period of spring 2020.

The first virtual meeting of the ELS, organized and chaired by ELS President Christian Sittel, was held in July 2020. This successful, first digital gathering of the ELS and affiliated societies was instated to partially replace the 2020 biannual meeting that should have been held in Stuttgart but had to be postponed due to the world wide COVID-19 epidemic.

ELS Presidents

  • Oskar Kleinsasser, Germany 1995 – 1996
  • Italo Serafini, Italy 1996 – 1998
  • Bernard Luboinski, France 1998 – 2000
  • Jan Olofsson, Norway 2000 – 2002
  • Mario Andrea, Portugal 2002 – 2004
  • Patrick Bradley, UK 2004 – 2006
  • Miquel Quer, Spain 2006 – 2008
  • Hans Eckel, Austria 2008 – 2010
  • Heikki Rihkanen, Finland 2010 – 2012
  • Ferhan Öz, Turkey 2012 – 2014
  • Giorgio Peretti, Italy 2014 – 2016
  • Ricard Simo, UK 2016 – 2018
  • Christian Sittel, Germany 2018 – 2021
  • Cesare Piazza, Italy 2021 – 2023
  • Małgorzata Wierzbicka, Poland 2023 – now

ELS General Secretaries

  • Marc Remacle, Belgium 1995 – 2008
  • Frederik Dikkers, The Netherlands 2008 – 2016
  • Elisabeth Sjögren, The Netherlands 2016 – 2023
  • Michal Zabrodsky, Czech Republic 2023 – now

ELS Treasurers

  • Thomas Wustrow, Germany 1995 – 2002
  • Hans Eckel, Austria 2002 – 2004
  • Jochen Werner, Germany 2004 – 2008
  • Christian Sittel, Germany 2008 – 2016
  • Jens Peter Klussmann, Germany 2016 – now



14th ELS Congress, Milan, ITALY
21 – 23 June 2023
President:  Cesare Piazza

13th ELS Congress, ONLINE
28 May 2020
President: Christian Sittel

12th Scientific Congress, London, UNITED KINGDOM
16-19 May 2018
President: Ricard Simo

11th Scientific Congress, Genoa, ITALY
8-11 June 2016
President: Giorgio Peretti

10th Scientific Congress, Antalya, TURKEY
9-12 April 2014
President: Ferhan Öz

9th Scientific Congress, Helsinki, FINLAND
13-16 June 2012
President: Heikki Rihkanen

8th Scientific Congress, Vienna, AUSTRIA
1-4 September 2010
President: Hans Eckel

7th Scientific Congress, Barcelona, SPAIN
29-31 May 2008
President: Miquel Quer

6th Scientific Congress, Nottingham, U. K.
31 August -2 September 2006
President: Patrick Bradley

5th Scientific Congress, Lisbon, PORTUGAL
10-13 July 2004
President: Mario Andrea

4th Scientific Congress, Brussels, BELGIUM
5-7 September 2002
President: Marc Remacle

3rd Scientific Congress, Paris, FRANCE
9-11 June 2000
President: Bernard Luboinski

2nd Scientific Congress, Rome, ITALY
23-26 September 1998
President: Italo Serafini

1st Scientific Congress, Marburg, GERMANY
26-29 September 1996
President: Oscar Kleinsasser

ELS Virtual Meeting
3 July 2020, C. Sittel

Foundation Meeting, Brussels, Belgium
21 January, 1995 M. Remacle 

Every second year a workshop is being organized by a local committee. The workshops are held alternating with the congresses. A workshop is focused on a specific topic. The following workshop took place: 

12th ELS Workshop 2019
Helsinki, FINLAND
President: Maija-Leena Aaltonen

11th ELS Workshop 2017
Leipzig, GERMANY
President: Andreas Dietz

10th ELS Workshop 2015
Poznan, POLAND
President: Wojciech Golusiński, Maciej Misiołek

9th ELS Workshop 2013
Hamburg, GERMANY
President: Markus Hess

8th ELS Workshop 2011 and PEVOC September 2011
Marseille, FRANCE
President: Antoine Giovanni

7th ELS Workshop – June 2009
Mannheim, GERMANY
President: Christian Sittel

6th ELS Workshop – May 2007
Antalya, TURKEY
President: Ferhan Öz

5th ELS Workshop – February 2005
Madrid, SPAIN
President: Primitivo Ortega del Alamo

4th ELS Workshop – April 2003
Budapest, HUNGARY
President: G. Lichtenberger, J. Czigner

3rd ELS Workshop – April 2001
President: Hans Mahieu

2nd ELS Workshop – October 1999
President: Gerhard Friedrich

1st ELS Workshop – October 1997
President: Bernard Luboinski