EFN participation in the EU Health Policy Forum

EFN participation in the EU Health Policy Forum

Posted on March 20, 2015

Paul De Raeve, EFN General Secretary, was present at the EU Health Policy Forum organised on 19 March 2015, in Brussels. Bringing together over 50 umbrella organisations representing EU health stakeholders and patient’s groups, the meeting  discussed a new format for the Forum, in which a clear and effective governance structure needs to be put in place. The EFN Secretary General pushed for the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) to continue leading the Forum as we need it more than before.

The objectives of the Forum relate to ensuring cross-sectional transparency in health policy dialogue, involving stakeholders in specific and targeted thematic discussions, and giving more visibility to co-funded Health Programme projects, including Joint Actions. Also, “Health in All Policies” has been set as the priority topic of the EU Health Policy Forum for the coming years. EFN General Secretary stated that: “Civil society need to lead, civil society need to set pro-active the policy agenda.” He continued saying that, ‘there is no need to go to talking clubs, we need policy documents, endorsed by civil society, and push things forward”.

As such, the Forum discussed a new communication mechanism with: an internet platform, providing online discussion and collaboration; regular meetings, and a biannual Summit with targeted thematic and seen as a landmark event to discuss on future pressing issues in the field of public health; and an annual health award for the best practice by NGOs in the EU Member States. We need new mechanism but face to face stays key!

Under the effective leadership of John Ryan, the Forum members agreed to focus, in the coming weeks, on getting the governance right and more importantly develop a key policy document on dementia, fitting into the EU Presidency of Luxembourg and the Netherlands! Civil Society needs to lead. Finally, the participants were in detail briefed on the latest developments on Ebola as a test of the serious cross-border health threats decision and EFN informed the participants on the work EFN is doing on preparedness.