Greetings from the EFA AGM and Networking Day


EFA organised its Annual General Meeting 2013 on May 31 in Rome. The event was an occasion for all members to meet and discuss EFA’s projects, accomplishments and future plans. At the AGM the Portuguese Association of people with COPD and other chronic respiratory diseases RESPIRA  joined EFA and was warmly welcomed by the AGM.

Apart from presentations on EFA’s activities in 2012, strategy for 2013 and 2014, accounts, budget and financial forecast, the elections of Board Members were also held.

Breda Flood was re-elected president by the AGM, Ondrej Rybnicek from the Czech Initiative for Asthma, and Per-Ake Wecksell from the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association were then re-elected board members.

Since 2012, EFA has made a big step forward in the area of policy monitoring and advocacy activities. Thanks to EU Policy Officer Roberta Savli, EFA has become very active in following the EU legislation affecting patients with allergies, asthma and COPD (e.g. Tobacco products Directive, Clinical Trials Regulation, Medical Devices Regulation etc.) and advocating for their rights and interests.

Thanks to Fundraising and Project Officer Antje Fink-Wagner, EFA has 3 major projects, focused on oxygen availability in airlines, allergy awareness and now also on developing minimum standards for COPD care. Thanks to Programme and Membership Officer David Brennan, EFA has stepped up our work within EU research projects, such as AirPROM or U-BIOPRED.

Thanks to the launch of a new website and social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook), EFA has become more visible and will continue to engage with patients, other organisations and professionals in order to represent rights of patients with allergy and respiratory diseases.

In the upcoming years, EFA would like to increase its membership and collaborate closely with patients’ organisation from the old and also new EU Member States.

Find the photo gallery here.


EFA Networking Day

On June 1 2013 the EFA AGM 2013 was followed by the Networking Day. EFA members had the opportunity to present their main achievements, plans and future objectives, discuss best practices and meet face to face in order to set future objectives of EFA working groups devoted to asthma, allergies and COPD.

At the Networking Day, the advantages and use of the new members area on the www.efanet.org website were presented and guest speaker Walter Atzori from the European Patients’ Forum (EPF) presented on EU funding opportunities for patients’ organisations across Europe.

The event started with presentations from around EFA members. RESPIRA as a new member of EFA opened the floor and highlighted their activities aimed at raising awareness of COPD in Portugal. RESPIRA’s presentation was followed by the UK, Denmark, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Greece, Poland, Austria, Ireland and Norway. EFA members expressed an interest in collaboration in the area of developing mobile apps and collaboration with other international patients’ organisations.

The introductory session was followed by meetings of EFA Working Groups and presentation on the members’ area delivered by David Brennan. EFA members were encouraged to use the members’ area on www.efanet.org website more often in order to avoid emails with heavy attachments.

At the event, guest speaker Walter Atzori presented on EU funding opportunities for patient organisations in the EU. As he pointed out, it is very important to bear in mind that EU funding is not a way how to raise income and it never covers 100% of the project’s cost. A successful application needs to contribute to EU objectives and show a real involvement of patients. According to his presentation, patients’ organisations can benefit from either directly managed EU programmes or indirectly managed EU programmes, so-called structural funds.

Find the photo gallery here.

Presentations from the networking meeting.

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