More than 120 participants representing as many as 32 countries. Mostly of them was leaders of civic and patients associations, but also many health professionals and institutions, private companies, consulting firm specializing in European policies, university etc. The countries represented were not only EU countries, but also, for example, Kosovo, Ukraine.

Thanks to the presence of experts from the U.S., Canada and India, there were representatives from three continents.

Whether it's a signal for an International Patients' Rights Day and not just European? We hope so, as we take equally as a good auspicious what stated by the European health Commissioner, Tonio Borg in his video message: "every day should be a Patients' Rights Day" because they see their rights respected.

These are some of the data and ideas that best summarize the richness of the VIII European Patients' Rights Day, dedicated to analyze the role of civic and patients organizations in the empowerment of patients suffering with chronic diseases.

To do this, there have been 23 speakers, to whom I extend my personal thanks for the exposed contents and for having been able to arouse great interest on the part of all participants.

At the end of two days, the press release of the European Commission-remembered, in the occasion of the European Patients' Rights Day, what are the 10 benefits that the EU guarantees to patients.

An underscore important: sin to have forgotten (deliberately?) that the promoter and animator of the European Patients' Rights Day is always the organized civil society, before and sometimes even regardless of the attention that it receives from the institutions.

About Institutions, from the conference emerged a Manifesto on the empowerment of patients suffering from chronic diseases, and their associations. It 'was signed by as many as 30 associations, and it is a political document to address the theme for the new European Parliament.

As promised, we presented the Manifesto to the responsible of the EU Health Policy Forum, led by DG SANCO, last 19 of June in Luxembourg.

Looking forward to evaluate the performance of the new MEPs, we welcome with interest the decision of the European Commission to set aside a lot of attention to chronic diseases in the Third EU Programme for Health (2014-2020), which is the main instrument of the Commission uses to implement the European strategy for health. We have the frame to follow up the issues discussed in Brussels last May.

Mariano Votta, Director Active Citizenship Network

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