The Symposium of the Central and Eastern European Chambers of Physicians (ZEVA*) is an annual meeting which provides a forum for representatives of bodies of physicians’ self-governance from the Central and Eastern European region to meet and discuss issues of mutual concern.
The ZEVA symposium was set up in the aftermath of the fall of the iron curtain, which saw the establishment of new chambers of physicians across Central and Eastern Europe. The aim was to facilitate communication and the exchange of ideas between all the chambers of this region, both old and new.
Nowadays, the symposium remains a platform for the discussion of various topics, and provides a strong regional voice for the medical community through the formulation of joint statements. In doing so, it promotes the common interests of bodies of physicians’ self-governance in the Central and Eastern European region, including those chambers from countries which are not yet members of the European Union.
No single chamber has leadership of the symposium and its participants take it in turns to host the annual meeting. Each year, topics of particular current relevance for physicians’ self-governance are selected for discussion. In addition, each member delivers a report on developments which have affected the medical profession in their own country over the previous 12 months.
*Over the years, the symposium has come to be known by the term ZEVA. The origins of this name are somewhat unclear, however it is thought to originate from the German acronym for “central European association of physicians’ chambers” (Zentraleuropäische Vereinigung der Ärztekammern). Over the intervening years, the name has come to symbolise the sense of unity and commonality among the symposium’s participants.