EFN Open Letter to the Newly Elected European Commission

EFN Open Letter to the Newly Elected European Commission

Posted on November 29, 2019

The EFN receives with enthusiasm the notification that a new College of Commissioners, who will work under the leadership of the Commission’s President-elect Ursula von der Leyen, has been approved by the European Parliament.

The EFN is looking forward to working closely with this new College of Commissioners, and altogether, make a valuable difference for Europe. As we all know, and pointed out on by the Commission itself in the European Semester Country Reports, the EU’s healthcare systems are at risk. The ageing population, the rising burden of people living with chronic diseases, the workforce shortages, and others, are all decreasing the quality of care that Europeans is receiving. In this context, the EFN, who is the voice of nurses in the EU, is ready to work together with the newly elected Officials, and 3 million nurses who are at the frontline of patient care, to make a difference for the people.

At the same time all this happens, we hear from outgoing European Commissioner for Health Vytenis Andriukaitis that “various surveys and debates across Europe prove us that health ranks among the top priorities of European citizens”. The EFN strongly encourages policymakers and other stakeholders to make the EU citizens priority a reality into the political agenda of the EU. For that, stakeholders at all levels should tackle the shortages of nurses across all EU countries – a situation that worsened particularly since the economic crisis of 2008. Nurses are the only healthcare professionals that expend the most time at direct patient care, 24/7 by the bedside.

The education of nurses is also a key, and the competencies of Annex V of Directive 2013/55/EU need to be updated in a manner that reflects the digitalisation of care, the new trend of value-based healthcare, and all the changes that have occurred in primary care (including community care).

The EFN would also like to remind the new College of Commissioners that 2020 has been designated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the “Year of the Nurse and the Midwife”.  This would be a great opportunity for all to start working hard towards policies that matter, and that makes an impact for the nursing workforce and the population of the EU. The EFN is ready to take the challenge.