Advocating change for all people with allergy and airways diseases for 30 years




Our Annual General Meeting gathered more than 40 allergy and respiratory patient leaders from 25 European countries in London.

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) served to check and approve EFA’s 2015 annual report and accounts, as well as our 2016 workplan and budget. Together with Members, we defined the allergy, asthma and COPD patient priorities that will shape European policy and research with the aim to improve quality of life and participation of patients. The presentations of the AGM can be found below.

EFA's new Board and Members

EFA’s Board also welcomed a new leadership with a new President, Ms. Mikaela Odemyr from the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association, who was already EFA’s Board Member. Mikaela replaces Ms. Christine Rolland from the French Asthma and Allergy Association, who reached the maximum term and has been fundamental accompanying EFA reaching a higher organisational level. EFA’s Membership also elected new Board Members: Mr. Carlos Nunes from the Portuguese Asthma Association and Mr. Hubert Nettel from the Austrian Lung Union replaces Ms. Sharon Cosgrove as EFA Treasurer. Thank you Sharon for all your guidance during your term! She practically overhauled our financial management and reporting systems in one year.

Our allergy, asthma and COPD patients’ family also grew as we welcomed two new European Members. The Asthma and Allergy Society of Iceland is a patient organisation founded in 1974 to fight for the interests of those with asthma and allergies. It especially emphasizes education and service to its members and holds seminars, publishes newsletters and brochures. The French COPD Association was established in 2003 and currently brings together more one thousand patients. Among their activities, they provide information to patients and their families, and they advocate for the integration of spirometry testing in all screening tests. With these two associations, EFA extends its scope to 41 patient associations in 25 countries. 

EFA's new logo

EFA also launched a new visual identity. The new logo is a colorful butterfly / flower that connects the air we breathe with the food we eat. It now matches the visual identity renewal process started by EFA in 2014, and completes website refreshment.

We have been inspired by butterflies because they are amongst the most vulnerable beings on earth, but when empowered flying free. Allergy, asthma and COPD patients experience the fragility imposed these chronic diseases and need long-term care and treatment. As butterflies, they can live free and independent when empowered by their environment. For us, this new logo represents freedom and hope to live uncompromised lives, EFA’s vision.

AGM’s Official dinner at the House of Commons

The official AGM dinner was celebrated at the prestigious UK House of Commons, hosted by Member of Parliament Stephen McPartland last May 23rd. Mr. McPartland (Convervatives), a patient himself, chairs the Allergy, the Respiratory Health and the Child Health and Vaccine Preventable Diseases All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) at the UK House of Commons.

Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, said, “I was delighted to host these groups at the House of Commons to help raise awareness of the hidden costs of these conditions to patients, their families, carers, and European health systems. It was a very poignant day, as a restaurant owner was jailed for six years for manslaughter of a customer who died of an allergic reaction”.

Please find the full Press Release in our website.

EFA’s Networking Day

On the 24th May, we had our networking day with a full range of patient driven research sessions to present to Members EFA’s ongoing projects like our Asthma Adolescence project. During the presentation we explained to Member delegates how the results of EFA’s survey on young asthma patients adherence to treatment have helped us set a number of European recommendations and how this research could be exploited at national level by their organisations.

Another session presented EFA’s plan to advocate for political commitment on chronic respiratory diseases at EU level, a campaign aimed at having more recognition to allergy, asthma and COPD, access to better care all over Europe to reduce inequalities among patients and increase research funding. In addition, Asthma UK colleagues updated on EARIP (European Asthma Research Innovation Partnership), an EU funded project where EFA is partnering in to bring together as many asthma stakeholders as possible to bridge the current gap on asthma research in Europe and we launched together the EFA-EARIP Malaga-London Declaration for further investment in research to curve asthma. 

Food Allergy, COPD, Environmental Determinants and Patient Education

During the Networking Day, patient leaders broke to follow up and provide their expertise to four different EFA’s Working Groups.

The Food Allergy Working Group discussed how to advance on the development of European pictogrammes for allergen labelling to help food allergy patients understand food labels when travelling abroad. During the meeting, participants discussed current “may contain” mention and how to improve this mention, as establishing a threshold to specify the presence of an allergen might entail risky-behaviours among patients.

The COPD Working Group discussed the situation for COPD patients in different European countries so that EFA priorities are in line with their needs on the ground. The group agreed to continue working together on EFA's priorities for COPD advocacy at European level, namely dignosis, prevention and awareness on COPD as well as pulmonary rehabilitation for patients. The group discussed several potential future initiatives / projects and the opportunity to transfer best practices implemented at the national level by EFA members in to other EFA countries.

The Environmental Determinants discussed the upcoming opportunities to influence the National Emissions Ceilings Directive, so that the patient perspective is tacking into account when defining new target for air pollutants at EU level. Participants were also updated on the European Commission plans to review the carcinogens and mutagens directive that aims at limiting exposure of workers to certain chemicals. They decided that the working group will develop a set of criteria for what indoor air quality is and what is therefore the reference that EFA members can advocate for at the national level.

The Patient Education working group convened to launch a patient education survey among EFA Members to set a baseline on how patient education is organised in different European countries, and what is the approach adopted by our members to boost allergy, asthma and COPD literacy among patients. 

Thank you to all Member delegates and participants for all your input in each of the sessions. 


You will find the presentations below: 

- EFA Activity Report 2015

- EFA Accounts and Budget 

- EFA Work plan 2016

- EFA Communications 

- EFA Code of Ethics and Conduct 

EFA Statutes and incorporation as a Belgium non-profit organisation


The pictures of both days are available in our Facebook page:  

- AGM and Networking pictures:

- House of Commons dinner pictures: