The reason that interest in controlled trials is required at a European level is because collaboration
in multicentre trials can increase recruitment to trials and the size of the trials which yield statistically more reliable estimates of the effects of health care interventions, both overall and for relevant subgroups. In addition, estimates of these effects, which have been derived from investigations of the same question in a variety of circumstances internationally, can provide insights relevant to the applicability of research results in practice.
It is against this background and rationale that the ESF will take a variety of steps to promote pan-European collaboration in controlled trials.
This statement constitutes the first step, and refers to two further steps that can be implemented without substantial investment from the limited resources available.