The official launch for the 2019-2024 term, of the MEPs Interest Group “European Patients' Rights & Cross-Border Healthcare” was held in Brussels in the European Parliament on January 28th with an event titled “Joined For Vaccination: addressing Vaccine Hesitancy and Increasing Uptake in EU. A Multi-Stakeholder Perspective”, hosted by the Italian MEP Brando Benifei.
For Cittadinanzattiva-Active Citizenship Network, it is a source of pride to be the promoter of this political initiative, endorsed by almost 100 associations across Europe: the Interest Group renews its commitment to be an opportunity for the development of the policy making process on healthcare at the EU level: civic participation in healthcare policies should be considered not only as a praiseworthy civic act, but also as a strategic source to safeguard the public healthcare system.
In the past legislature, this Interest Group was chaired by two Presidents of the 8 Parliamentary Groups, and supported by others 24 MEPs.
For this second term, there are already 12 MEPs that have decided to join this Interest Group: a special thank first of all to Brando Benifei, the Co-Chair of the Interest Group together with his Croatian colleague Tomislav Sokol, that I thank as well.
Together with them, I am glad to express my gratitude for their support to the Italian MEPs, in alphabetical order: Eleonora Evi, Aldo Patriciello, Piernicola Pedicini, Sabrina Pignedoli, Patrizia Toia, and also to Sara Cerdas (from Portugal), Miriam Dalli (from Malta), Kateřina Konečná (Czech Republic), Sirpa Pietikäinen (Finland), Christel Schaldemose (Denmark).
In line with the commitments taken during the first mandate, the objective is to increase - in a multi stakeholder perspective – the cooperation among EU Institutions, citizens & patients organizations, experts and private entities. It will be focused on the one hand, on the patients’ rights for the reduction of health inequalities, and on the other hand, on the priorities underlined by the new EU Health Commissioner.
To these two objectives we want to add a third one, strictly linked to the Conference on the Future of Europe.
Such an initiative could pave the way for the reform of the European system together with the need to respond to citizens' demand to participate in change by laying the foundations for a renewed consensus on the European project.
“I want citizens to have their say at a Conference on the Future of Europe” said the Commission President and, recently, in its resolution on the Conference on the Future of Europe, the European Parliament proposed that several thematic Citizens’ agoras reflecting the policy priorities should be held throughout the Conference process. We'd like to consider this Interest Group as the agora focused on patients unmet needs, and the health priorities from a citizens perspectives.
Mariano Votta, Director, Active Citizenship Network