The European Parliament elections are approaching. In less than two months European citizens will be called to vote on their future representatives in Europe. EFA continues its efforts to share EFA Manifesto within stakeholders and policy-makers and to get as much support as possible to improve the health and well-being for future generations of people with allergy, asthma and COPD and prevention.
EFA Manifesto is for Healthier Europe. What else?
The closer the European Parliament elections, the merrier are concerns about whether the interests of patients with allergy, asthma and COPD will be taken into account by the newly elected politicians (see EFA’s manifesto). As for March 31, 565 people signed EFA Manifesto, included 14 current Members of the European Parliament re-running and candidates standing in 6 Member States. This has been made possible thanks to the valuable efforts of our members who are continuously advocating for better health of people with asthma, allergy and COPD.
Since 1979, the Members of the European Parliament are the only democratically elected representatives of more than 500 million Europeans, and as a result, they should act in the interest of EU citizens and public health. Ahead of the elections, EFA is underlining the following three priorities to be taken into account by and made a priority in the political agenda of future EU policy-makers:
1. Develop an EU strategy on chronic diseases with disease specific chapters;
2. Invest in prevention – tackle health determinants;
3. Help ensuring equal access to care for each patient.
EFA at the European Parliament with EPF to promote patients’ rights and requests
In order to encourage politicians and policy-makers to commit to a healthier Europe, the European Patients Forum (EPF) organised a campaign for the 2014 European Parliament elections. They developed a video and, mainly, set up a very successful exhibition stand at the European Parliament from March 17 to 20. EFA, represented by Roberta Savli, participated at the EPF exhibition and took the opportunity to familiarize stakeholders and policy-makers with EFA Manifesto too. On March 19, the hosting MEP, Mrs. Dagmar Roth-Behrendt, invited her colleagues to stand up for the protection and promotion of patients’ rights and, despite not running for re-elections anymore, underlined the need for patients to be represented at the EU level and for their voice to be heard by policy-makers. The cocktail reception organised afterwards was attended by Roberta Savli, as well as by EFA Director, Susanna Palkonen, and EU Policy Assistant, Jelena Malinina.
Overview of manifestos of main European political parties
EPHA has made an overview on the health aspects of the manifestos of the main EU political parties before the European Parliament elections.
The group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (PES) pays significant attention to ensuring a safe and healthy life for all. The future Members of the European Parliament will be dedicated to “protect Europeans’ right to enjoy safe food, safe products and a safe living environment”. See PES Manifesto: Towards a New Europe.
The group of the European People’s Party (EPP) is determined to reform the health sector, emphasising that social dialogue is needed for the successful implementation of the foreseen changes. See EPP Action Programme 2014-2019.
The group of the Greens/European Free Alliance includes health in almost all its policy areas, mainly in the context of environmental health but also on social protection. The Green Group points out that new policy should be based on sustainability with a focus on delivering tangible results for the well-being of European citizens. See European Green Party – Common Manifesto. Change Europe, vote green.
The only reference to health in the manifesto of the group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) is within the context of the single market and trade policy liberalisation. See A Europe that works.
EFA expresses its hopes that such approach to public health will be changed, as the main aim of economic activity should be a promotion of well-being, social inclusion and better public health. We invite policy-makers to have a look at our Manifesto and take on board some crucial points for people in Europe.