EFA Manifesto for the European Parliament election next year
EFA launched our Manifesto for the next European Parliament elections to be held in May 2014. The launch took place on the 17th October and already in two weeks time it gained almost 400 signatures.
The Manifesto calls on Members of European Parliament (MEPs) to commit themselves to three priority areas that are sub-divided into fourteen actions to improve health and quality of life of people with asthma, allergy and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Europe. The 1st priority is to Develop an EU strategy on chronic diseases with disease specific chapters. This strategy should be based on the EU reflection process on chronic diseases which dates back to 2010. The 2nd priority is to Invest in prevention – tackle health determinants. Bearing in mind the principle of health in all policies, all EU activities should take into consideration their impact on public health. The last priority is to Help ensuring equal access to care for each patient. With this, we mean to secure better treatment and healthcare which would contribute to the long-term objective of the EU to guarantee healthy ageing for all citizens and make the healthcare systems more sustainable.
Asthma, allergy and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are among the most common chronic diseases in Europe, affecting millions of EU citizens and imposing significant burdens on European healthcare, social systems and the patients themselves. Asthma and allergy are the most common chronic diseases in children and the leading cause of school absences, emergency department visits and hospitalisations. 30 million people in Europe are affected by asthma, with six million of these people suffering from severe symptoms of the disease. When it comes to allergy, it is estimated that 1 in every 2 Europeans will suffer from an allergy by 2015. While the main cause of COPD is tobacco smoke, we do not yet know the very origins of allergy and asthma. COPD remains largely unknown: it affects 44 million people in Europe and is expected by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to become the third leading cause of death by 2030.
Ahead of the European Parliament elections in 2014, patients with allergy, asthma and COPD in Europe ask all MEPs to take these concerns into account and to make these actions a priority in their political agenda. Help us make Europe a place where patients have the right to best quality of care and safe environment, live uncompromised lives and are actively involved in all decisions influencing their health.
To sign the Manifesto and to download its PDF version, please click here.