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On the 12th November 2018 EFA Director of Policy and Communications Isabel Proaño participated in the EU Health Policy Platform (HPP) Annual Stakeholder Meeting. The HPP is a European Commission forum linking civil society associations active on health and the Directorate General for Health and Food Safety, DG SANTE. The event was opened by the brand new DG SANTE director, Anne Bucher, who stressed the important role of civil society organisations in raising public health awareness.

During the meeting, we had the opportunity to discuss with DG SANTE leadership about the ups and downs of the HPP. Created a couple of years ago, the platform was conceived as an online tool to increase accessibility among civil society groups to policy-making. Some of the downs that we flagged during the meeting were that despite being online, it is sometimes difficult for small groups without a dedicated EU representation to follow the steps of the EC workflow, and even to access the platform due to the clauses of obligatory registration in the EU transparency registry and the need to have a public e-domain to receive HPP correspondence. In addition to that, Brussels-based health groups, we highlighted our doubts about the actual impact of the HPP not only gathering but actually using the civil society input streamed through the HPP. The top EC officials in the meeting agreed on looking at methods to use the HPP to help associations better identify and position health issues within the full legislative spectrum of the EU policy.

The different thematic networks that had been working in 2018 (on smart and healthy age-firendly environments, on the societal impact of pain, and on stimulating fresh fruit and vegetable consumption for healthier European consumers) presented their joint statements. We also had the chance to learn from the 2019 presented candidatures for thematic networks the objectives they are looking for. EFA will vote on our preferred candidature by December 6.

The festive atmosphere was brought by DG SANTE Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis who handover the 2018 EU Health Award for NGOs Working To Prevent Tobacco Use to three excellent initiatives, especially targeting the youth, like the X-HALE project from the Irish Cancer Society and the Education Against Tobacco Network.

To watch the recording of the meeting please visit this page.  

To learn more on the DG Santé leadership, follow this link.

Discover more on the 2018 Health Award for NGOs working to prevent tobacco use here.

Tags: Category: News
Country: EU
Disease area: Asthma,Allergy,COPD,Other diseases
Theme: Healthcare