Conflict of Interest Policy


The European Reference Network for Rare Kidney Diseases (ERKNet, hereinafter called “the Network”) is an organization authorized by the European Commission to promote healthcare for rare renal diseases in the European Union. Tasks of the Network include the development and implementation of clinical guidelines and recommendations, clinical pathways and decision-making tools, and the facilitation of research and clinical trials aimed at identifying and testing novel therapies for rare kidney diseases.

A conflict of interest is a set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgement or actions regarding a primary interest of the science or the patient will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest. Conflict of interest may distort the interpretation of results and evidence, the analysis of data, and the development of research methods.


General Principles

The Network adheres to ethical criteria, is transparent, and avoids any conflict of interest when developing and implementing clinical guidelines and recommendations, patient pathways, and clinical decision making tools.

The Network will engage with industry in research and clinical trial programs where appropriate and in an open and transparent manner.



  • No Network Member representative shall derive any personal profit or gain, directly or indirectly, by reason of his or her participation with the Network. This shall also include the member representative’s business or other nonprofit affiliations, family and/or significant other, employer, or close associates who may stand to receive a benefit or gain.
  • Each Member of the Network will be responsible to follow and respect the national legislation and by-laws on conflict of interest.
  • Each individual shall disclose in written form to the Network Board, represented by the Coordinator, any personal interests which he or she may have in any matter pending before the Network and shall refrain from participation in any discussion or decision on such matter.
  • Any declared interest will be published on the Network website. The Declaration of Interest will be renewed annually and whenever a change in interest occurs.
  • All relationships between the Network and Industry stakeholders will be made transparent by reporting on the Network’s website.
  • There will be no direct industry funding of any activity of the Network.
  • No industry stakeholder will be allowed to have a place in the governance structure of the Network.

Any new member representative shall be given this policy at the time of their membership approval. The policy will be reviewed regularly by the Network Board.

We understand that the purposes of this policy are to protect the integrity of the Network and its decision-making process as well as to enable our Members and stake holders to have confidence in the integrity, intentions and actions of the Network officers and Board members.  To that end, we understand that this policy is not meant to supplement good judgment and all constituents should respect its spirit as well as its wording.