EU conference
"Chronic pain: making the invisible visible. European collection of good practices"

October 2nd, 2014

Venue: European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) – Room TTRE 7701 - 7th floor,
Trèves Bulding, 74, rue de Trèves, 1040 Brussels

During the Italian EU Semester of Presidency (July-December 2014), the conference represents an important occasion due to the political framework: this year, for the first time at European level, the issue of chronic pain is being put on the agenda by the EU institutions, also thanks to the active work of a number of patient and civic associations all over Europe.

The informal meeting of the European Health Ministers was held on 22 and 23 September in Milan and was chaired by Italian Minister Beatrice Lorenzin. It addressed, the following issues: palliative care and pain therapy, fight against Ebola, innovative drugs and cancer prevention.
Please click here to know the main outcomes of the EU Health Ministers’ discussion on pain therapy and palliative care.

So, at European level the conference represents the first occasion for European and National Institutions to present to the community involved in the topic (professionals, patient and civic association, specialized media, stakeholders, etc.) what was discussed and the decisions that will be taken on palliative care and pain management.

With regards to the chronic pain, in 2014 Active Citizenship Network has started a research-project with the aim to give evidence on existing good practices in European countries in terms of struggle against pain.
By organizing this event two weeks later the Ministerial meeting, we provide a add value for participants who have been active for years in the field of the struggle against chronic pain in Europe.

Our aims are to raise awareness about the phenomenon, enhance the body of knowledge of positive experiences and success, and strengthen 's commitment to this topic.
The event involves participants from 17 European Countries and from various background:

  • leader of patients' organizations and representatives of health-focused NGO
  • the Good practices networks promoted by ACN over the years
  • healthcare professionals and their EU Networks
  • policymakers from member states and UE Institutions
  • public relations agency

Download the programme and all the documents.

Chair person
Beverly Collett, Chair of the Chronic Pain Policy Coalition, Consultant in Pain Management & Anaesthesia, Leicester Royal Infirmary NHS Trust; and Treasurer International Association for the Study of Pain


  • Miguel Ángel Cabra de Luna, Representative of the European Economic and Social Committee

Opening Remarks:

  • Mariano Votta, Director of Active Citizenship Network
  • Marco Spizzichino, Director of Palliative care and Pain Therapy Office, Directorate-General for health planning of the Ministry of Health, Italy (EU Presidency).
  • Dance Gudeva Nikovska, from Ministry of Health, Macedonia. She is a Medical Doctor, Assistant Professor of Medicine, and a Fellow of New Westminster College. She is a coordinator of GFATM-Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria funded projects for Tuberculosis control with the ministry of health in Macedonia.

Keynote Presentations about the collected Good Practices/experiences on chronic pain from EU Countries:

  • Marilyn Casha is a Consultant Anaesthetist working full time in Pain Management. She is here both as a representative of the Ministry of Health in Malta and as a member of the Arthritis and Rheumatism of Malta. Dr Casha was responsible for setting up a dedicated Pain Clinic specifically for cancer-related pain as well as the introduction of advanced neuromodulation techniques for pain management into Malta.
  • Jordi Moya Riera MD. Phd from Spain. He is specialist in Anethestesiology and Pain Management, president of the Spanish Association Against Pain “SINE DOLORE”, Director of EMNIPRE (European Multidisciplinary Network in Pain Research and Education), Chairman Mediterranean Multidisciplinary Pain Forum and also Director of the International Chair in Research from EFHRE International University (European Foundation for Health, Research and Education)
  • Harry Kletzko, from Germany. He is vice president of the German Pain League, the country's largest pain organization for patients with chronic pain, which he joined in 2001. He has a lot of experience in the disease of chronic pain. Harry worked nearly 30 years in different German pharmaceutical companies and was responsible for marketing and sales of drugs against pain. Harry Kletzko is also General Manager of the IMC GmbH, a management company in the health sector that, together with pain specialist centres and health care companies, implements new treatment-possibilities for people suffering from pain.

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