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In the middle of the decade
  1. J S Smolen
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor J S Smolen
    EULAR President, Medical University of Vienna, and Lainz Hospital, Vienna, Austria;

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Hopes for a change of the European Union’s approach to the rheumatic diseases … and more!

A decade—how quickly it passes! The Bone and Joint Decade—proclaimed by the United Nations and by the World Health Organisation for the years 2000–2010 and underwritten by dozens of governments world wide—has already reached its mid-term. How great! More than 5 years of “our” decade! A reason to celebrate? Not really. What are the achievements hitherto? Have rheumatic diseases gained more public awareness than in the 1990s? Have there been significant advances in disability legislation? Have governments set aside special funds or increased grant support for research into musculoskeletal disorders?

The decade before the Bone and Joint Decade was dedicated to the brain and these were the goals set forth in a proclamation by President George Bush designating the 1990s as the Decade of the Brain: “to …

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