How PGEU Operates

The PGEU has a Secretariat located in Brussels with a staff of five people who coordinates the daily work of the association. The PGEU holds a General Assembly two times per year (June and November) to which all members and observer members are invited to participate. PGEU holds an Annual Symposium which takes place immediately after or before the June General Assembly. The PGEU has a management board known as the Executive Committee whose members are representatives of PGEU member organisations.

The Presidency of the PGEU changes on an annual basis by the way of a rotation system among members. To facilitate the work of the PGEU in giving advice and formulating proposals in many different policy areas relevant to community pharmacy and public health, a number of PGEU Working Groups have been established.

General Assembly

The General Assembly is the supreme body of the association which decides on all important matters including PGEU policy decisions and the annual budget. The General Assembly meets two times per year and all ordinary members and observer members delegations attend. Policy proposals are developed by the Working Groups in collaboration with the Secretariat, and the Executive Committee presents policy proposals to the General Assembly with its recommendations for action.

PGEU Annual Symposium

PGEU holds a Symposium every year the day before/after the June General Assembly. The Symposium features expert speakers from the world of pharmacy, the European institutions, national authorities, academia and patient groups.

Executive Committee :

  • Meets on a monthly basis.

  • Assists the Secretary General in managing the association and implementing the resolutions of the General Assembly.

  • Examines policy proposals developed by the WorkingGroups in collaboration with the Secretariat and presents the proposals and the Committee's recommendations for action to the General Assembly.

  • The chair of the Executive Committee is the President.

Currently the Executive Committee consists of 10 members. EXCO Members 2019 : Croatia - Cyprus - Czech Republic - Germany - Greece - Malta - Poland - Portugal - Slovenia - Spain


The President is elected by the national delegations.

President : Michał Byliniak (Poland) is PGEU President for 2019. Pharmacist by profession. He graduated from the pharmaceutical faculty of the Warsaw Medical University in Poland. Currently, he is the vice-president of the Polish Pharmaceutical Chamber, where he is responsible, among others, for international cooperation and representation of the community of pharmacists in the structures of the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU) in Brussels. He was a chief negotiator regarding the participation of the Polish Pharmaceutical Chamber in the National Organization for the Verification of Drugs Authenticity (NMVO). Currently, he participates in the process of implementing authentication on the Polish pharmaceutical market. He is a participant in meetings of pharmacists organized as part of the Visegrad Group (V4 Pharma Group).

During last year's work in the Polish parliament on the amendment of pharmaceutical law, he supported regulation that - as in the case of other EU countries - new pharmacies, as health care facilities were managed and run only by pharmacists. Using his extensive professional experience - gained both in independent and chain pharmacies, he is a member of teams appointed by the Polish Minister of Health, whose aim are to develop a draft act on the profession of pharmacist and the implementation of pharmaceutical care in Polish pharmacies.

He has over 15-year professional background in the pharmaceutical market. He has strong managerial experience related to distribution, reimbursement, registration of medicinal products and clinical trials, which he gained both while working in pharmacies, as well as in domestic wholesalers and pharmaceutical companies, such as Solpharm Ltd., and HASCO-LEK PLC. Previously, he was a pharmaceutical consultant at the McKinsey & Company law firm. Author of numerous studies and legal regulations related to the pharmaceutical industry. Lecturer and coach. Participant of debates, workshops and industry conferences.

Vice President : Thanasis Papathanasis (Greece) is PGEU Vice-President for 2019.

Mr Papathanasis was elected as a Mayor of the city of Nafpaktos in 2006. He is member of the board of KEDE (Central Union of Municipalities of Greece) and representative of KEDE in the Congress of local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.

Working Groups

The PGEU has to give advice and formulate proposals in many different policy areas relevant to community pharmacy and public health. To facilitate this work, the Executive Committee or the General Assembly can propose the establishment of a working group to deal with specific issues. The working group members are experts appointed by PGEU members. The working groups provide additional technical expertise to the Secretariat in developing policy proposals, which are then presented by the Executive Committee to the General Assembly for approval. The following working groups are currently active:

  • Advisory Working Group (AWG) : The AWG is the main consultative body of the PGEU, covering a wide range of policy areas and is currently the key forum for discussion and development of PGEU policy papers.

  • European Pharmacists' Professional Forum (EPPF) : The European Pharmacists' Professional Forum deals with professional issues, including issues related to mobility of pharmacists, mutual recognition of professional qualifications, education and training of pharmacists, patient safety, pharmacy practice, collaboration with other stakeholders, etc.

  • Economics Working Group (EWG): The EWG deals with  current economic issues and with latest developments in health policy and health economics affecting community pharmacies. These include trends related to fiscal sustainability of health systems, strengthening of primary care services, pricing and reimbursement policies, health technology assessment, digitalization in healthcare.