Dear ERSA members, colleagues and friends,

The last five years as President of ERSA I have experienced that the fundamental strength of ERSA lies in its members and its twenty very active sections. This resulted in the very successful annual congresses attracting 700-800 participants and each year summer- and a winter schools for PhD’s and young researchers. During my presidency it was a great pleasure to participate in a great number of very lively and well attended regional events organised by the ERSA sections. A new and emerging trend are meetings jointly organized by combinations of sections attracting also international scholars and fostering a vibrant regional science community both at the European and section level. ERSA developed strong relations with institutions like the European Commission (i.e. ERSA-DG REGIO Lectures series, University Workshops and Master Classes at the annual Week of Regions and Cities) and the OECD (i.e. the upcoming Winter School). We can say that we succeeded in positioning our Association as a key point of interaction with these institutions, which is of utmost importance to enhance the science-policy interaction, leading to higher societal relevance of regional science research and increasing impact of evidence based regional policies. Also our Open Access journal REGION, firsts published in 2014, is developing very well.

Looking back, it was a great honour and pleasure for me to serve for five years as ERSA President. ERSA is in very good shape, also financially, and I am sure that under the leadership of André Torre’s as new President, ERSA will continue to develop its prominent role in the regional science community. I like to offer him my full support and wish him a lot of success in his new endeavours.

I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and healthy new year and look forward to meet you all again in 2019 at one of the events of ERSA and its sections.

Jouke van Dijk
ERSA President 2014-2018