In 2002, Active Citizenship Network (ACN) together with a group of European citizens organizations established a European Charter of Patients’ Rights, which includes the following 14 rights:the right to preventive measures; access care; information; consent; free choice; privacy and confidentiality; respect of patients’ time; observance of quality standards; safety; innovation; avoidance of unnecessary suffering and pain; personalized treatment; to complain; to receive compensation. All these rights, based on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, are crucial in matter of European citizens and healthcare services. The majority of these rights are also embodied within the Council conclusions on Common values and principles in EU Health Systems adopted in June 2006.
The reinforcement of these rights will become effective only with the cooperation and commitment of all healthcare stakeholders in every EU country. It is thus essential to increase awareness regarding the importance of patients’ rights and everyone’s responsibilities in guaranteeing their respect. We believe that celebrating a European Patients’ Rights Day every year in all the EU Member States would greatly contribute to this goal. It is a common occasion to inform, discuss and take commitments to improve patients’ rights in Europe and in each member state.
For this reason ACN, together with citizens’ and patients’ organizations throughout Europe, have taken the initiative to organize for the last six consecutive years the European Patients’ Rights Day.
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The EU project coordinates citizen debate and action in 11 EU member states, one candidate and one potential candidate countries on a set of issues focused on increased and better informed citizen participation in the democratic life of the EU and aims at strengthening the citizen base of deeper European integration. The project is funded by the European Union through the Europe for Citizens Programme and is implemented by a group of civic organizations.
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JoiEU comprises of a series of transnational debates mobilizing citizen participation and the use of innovative communications and advocacy strategies and tools culminating in joint policy initiatives for greater citizen participation in the decision-making process in the EU.