Solar and Space Plasma Physics will be over the next years a field of research in rapid development. The combination of new observations with unprecedented quality to be obtained when a new maximum of solar activity is foreseen, and of important theoretical developments (3D numerical modelling, progress in theoretical MHD and plasma astrophysics) will bring new insights. A substantial step forward is expected on how the Sun distributes its energy, its variable magnetic field and thus determines the parameters of the solar wind and of the interplanetary medium, which influence the geomagnetic environment. A fleet of spacecrafts with strong European involvement (SOHO, ULYSSES, CLUSTER) combined with observations from ground-based observatories will provide the European/international scientific community with large sets of coordinated observations of the solar interior and atmosphere, the solar wind and interplanetary medium, the frontiers with the terrestrial and planetary environment and, at last, with the interstellar medium.
The organisation of a large conference on solar physics in 2002'Solar Variability: From Core to Outer Frontiers' is timely. The last large conference in Europe on solar physics was held in 1999. In 2002 new key results are expected on solar variability on all scales from the inner core to the outer heliosphere. Because of the multidisciplinarity of the field, this meeting should involve a large community. It will enable participants to strengthen contacts with colleagues from other fields where many scientific parallels exist. The meeting will consist of keynote lectures, contributions and poster sessions. The invited speakers are selected on their didactic approach so that participants will obtain a good overview of the entire field of the conference. The meeting will be largely advertised via the Internet, web site, and printed posters.