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EFA Meet and Greet the EU Event

EFA “Meet and Greet the European Union Institutions 2013” Training

On 15th and 16th of October, EFA office in Brussels organised the 4th edition of the Meet and Greet the European Union Institutions training. This year’s training was attended by thirteen members from ten countries. The objective of the training is to introduce the European Union – its history, decision making process and health related issues in particular – to EFA members.

The programme of the first day was divided into theoretical and practical part. The theoretical included presentations conducted by members of EFA office in Brussels. David Brennan, EFA Membership and Project Officer, provided the members with basic information on functioning of EU institutions. EU Policy Officer, Roberta Savli, presented the health policy within the European Union and the advocacy priorities of EFA. First part of the training was concluded by Susanna Palkonen, Executive Officer, who talked about EFA stakeholder collaboration. Laurène Souchet, Policy Officer of the European Patients’ Forum (EPF), gave a general overview of stakeholders’ collaboration in Brussels and how channeling efforts can be more productive in policy shaping.

After the theoretical part, every member had scheduled meeting with Members of European Parliament (MEP) from their respective country. This was accompanied by visiting the interactive information exhibition Parlamentarium, where the participants gained additional knowledge on how the European Parliament works in practice. During the meeting, EFA members were the first to present EFA Manifesto for 2014 European Parliament Election to policy-makers.

The second day began with a workshop on Air pollution. Three distinguished speakers agreed on attending this workshop. European Commission’s proposal for the revision of the EU Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution was presented by Mr. Scott Brockett who represented the Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV) of the European Commission, where he serves as a Team Leader for Industrial Emissions, Air Quality and Noise. Priorities in the field of air pollution of the Greek Presidency (January – June 2014) of the Council of the European Union was presented by Petros Varelidis, Environment Attaché of Greece to the EU. Last but not least, the NGOs strategy was explained by Anne Stauffer from the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), whose member EFA is. An enriching debate on the issue by all the members and different stakeholders followed.

The last and probably the most anticipated part of the training was the role-play on Tobacco Products Directive. The participants were divided into two groups. Each one of them represented one EU body in the legislative process – European Parliament and Council of the European Union. This session was aimed to practically experience how the process actually works. The participants handled their roles of policy makers responsibly and the outcomes of the votes were very similar to those in real life.

This training has been shown to be essential for our members for better understanding of what sometimes may seem the very confusing environment of the European Union. The feedback was rather positive and there were already thoughts and ideas for the next year’s edition of the training.

To see photos from the event on our Facebook profile, please click here.

To access the presentations from the event, click here.

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