12 February 2019
- Air Quality, - Chemicals, - Healthcare

The upcoming EU elections provide great opportunities to strengthen the voice of people living with allergies and airways diseases across Europe. Hence, this years’ EFA Meet & Greet training on January 22nd and 23rd was designed accordingly for our members:

We updated our Members on the most relevant policy topics from EFA’s perspective at European national level. Several speakers from European-level organisations provided many valuable insights. We concentrated on how we at EFA and our Members in particular, can maximise their input towards EU-level policy makers.

Air quality is highly relevant for patients, indoors and outdoors

Climate change and environment protection is one of the major public health concerns in Europe right now. Yet, air quality, especially indoors, is not fully addressed and continues to affect people with allergies and airways diseases.

Sophie Perroud from the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) and Lièvin Chemin from Citizens Action Brussels (BRAL) emphasized the need for better air quality and the opportunity from civil society organisations like EFA and its patient-led national Members to bring air quality legislation forward at all levels. Their presentations showed data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and initiatives to mobilise the broader population.

Thousands of chemicals are underestimated harmful ingredients to health

Tatiana Santos from the European Environmental Bureau (EBB) and Pelle Moos from the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) emphasized that more chemicals would need to be classified as ‘substances of very high concern’, in view of their effects on vulnerable people and the real use we do of them, mixing them without information. Furthermore, they flagged the EU should have more systematic and stronger enforcement mechanisms on chemicals.

Care as a major issue for patient wellbeing

Jocelijn Stokx from the International Association of Mutual Benefit Societies (AIM) and Santos from Health Action International (HAI) focussed on the access to care. Both talked about access to medicines, existing policies on high-priced medicines and the highly debated Health Technology Assessment regulation. Their presentation followed a question and answer round from our distinguished participants, knowledgeable patient leaders wishing to increase access to healthcare for every allergy and airways disease patient in Europe.

Define Priorities and plan further actions

The second day of our Meet & Greet the EU Training was dedicated to EFA and members’ policy actions. Daniela Negri and Stephanie Chauvet from Weber Shandwick provided practical tips on how to create effective public affairs strategies. In an interactive session, our members could immediately apply the tools the had just learned.

Successful Meetings with Members of the European Parliament

Some of our visiting members had the chance to meet MEPs to present their priorities and ask for political support. The total of 11 were very satisfactory, and two MEPs showed their full commitment to EFA asks part of the European Parliament Interest Group Allergy and Asthma.

Find below the presentations during the EFA Meet and Greet the EU training 2018, held in Brussels on the 22-23 January 2019. 

HEAL Advocacy for air quality in Europe

BRAL a diverse air quality mobilisation for citizen advocacy

EEB Chemicals - What is there for patients and what role for them in policymaking

BEUC Consumers, Products and EU Chemicals Policy

AIM What are the safety nets patients need for the best quality care

HAI Challenges on access to medicines in Europe and policy solutions

Dear Visitor,

for regularly updated information on Covid-19 for allergy and respiratory patients, please consult our Covid-19 resource and information hub.
Stay safe!
The EFA Team