CONFERENCE ON THE FUTURE OF A HEALTHY EUROPE
“Taking part in the decision-making process on health priorities”
20 – 21 April 2022
14:30 – 16:00 CEST
Given the current situation of uncertainty, the conference will be organized in a digital format.
To virtually attend the conference, please register here (registration is mandatory)
The European celebration of the XVI European Patients’ Rights Day (EPRD) will be organized by Active Citizenship Network (ACN) with its traditional format of a big multi-stakeholder conference focused on the role played by key actors in the decision-making process on health priorities. In particular, just before the end of the Conference on the Future of Europe, the expectations and requests of citizens and Patients Advocacy Groups (PAGs) addressed to the institutions will be analysed. What has been discussed? Why did only a small percentage of the initiatives promoted within the CoFoE concern health issues? How to ensure that the priorities defined in the context of CoFoE will be incorporated in the implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs)? What is the level of involvement of citizens and patients’ associations in defining the implementation process of the priorities that have been identified in the health sector?
The 2022 conference will have a twofold structure: a first day, dedicated to the presentation to the EU Institutions of the outputs of the themes that emerged from health-related initiatives organized in the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe; and a second day, focused on analysing the actual level of citizen involvement by the Member States close to the approval by the European Commission of most of the NRRPs and their implementation at national level.
The sixteenth edition will aim at finding answers also to the above-mentioned questions thanks the following preliminary actions:
The recognition of the main themes that emerged from the health-related initiatives hosted by the official portal “FuturEU platform”;
A European civic survey on the level of involvement of civic and patient associations in the definition of priorities in the health sector starting from those indicated in the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs).
The Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) represented a unique and timely opportunity for European citizens to debate on Europe’s challenges and priorities. The European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission have committed to listen to Europeans and to follow up, within their sphere of competences, on the recommendations made by citizens on future developments. Officially launched on Europe Day, 9 May 2021, the Conference is expected to reach conclusions and provide guidance on the future of Europe by spring 2022. During this time, a series of consultations across the continent were made, aiming to collect ideas for EU reform from European citizens. The goals, principles, governance and methodology of the Conference are laid down in a Joint Declaration, co-signed by the Presidents of the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council on 10 March 2021. All Europeans, stakeholders and civil society representatives were invited to express their expectations of the European Union. Feeding the debate on the future of Europe with contributions at European, national, regional and local level.
In this context, Active Citizenship Network, the EU branch of the Italian NGO Cittadinanzattiva, launched on May 2021, as a follow up of the XV European Patients’ Rights Day, a cycle of EU Webinars titled “Health at the heart of the future of Europe” to highlight the priority of health as a common good in the debate of our and of the next generation, prescribing a healthier future for Europeans. Healthcare, well-being and a healthy lifestyle are vital for all of us. The covid-19 pandemic has revealed a need to work together to build stronger health systems and protect European’s physical and mental health. While national governments are primarily responsible for healthcare and medical services, European Union health policies can support and strengthen this action. The cycle of initiatives organized by ACN during the second half of 2021 (in June,July and September 2021), with the direct involvement of MEPs, high level experts, leader of civic organizations, PAGs and citizens aimed to contribute to providing a multi-stakeholder vision for a Healthier European Union. By voicing their opinions, hopes and concerns, citizens can influence the way healthcare is provided in Europe. The webinars were realized in the framework of the MEPs Interest Group “European Patients’ Rights & Cross-Border Healthcare” (2019-2024 Term) and hosted by the multilingual FuturEU platform, created to enable citizens across the Union to share and exchange ideas and opinions through online events. As an output of the cycle, in the context of the XVI European Patients’ Rights Day (EPRD), the recommendations will be sent to the European Institutions as a contribution to the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) on the discussed topics.
The main objective of the event is to collect ideas to fuel EU initiatives, exchange and discuss different experiences, best practices and more effective solutions - from a civic point of view - to overcome the challenges for global health of this historic moment, providing the leaders of civic associations and patient advocacy groups the opportunity to participate in an EU debate and keep them updated on the decision-making process on health priorities and ensuring community leadership and the participation of society as a whole: involve all stakeholders, especially civil society, to achieve ambitions for a European health union.
Origin & value of European Patients’ Rights Day
In 2002, Active Citizenship Network (ACN), together with a group of European citizens organizations, drafted the European Charter of Patients’ Rights, which has been translated in 16 languages and 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 for European citizens and healthcare services. The majority of these rights were also embodied within the Council conclusions on Common values and principles in EU Health Systems adopted in June 2006.
The reinforcement of these rights would become effective only with the cooperation and commitment of all healthcare stakeholders in every European country. It is thus essential to increase awareness regarding the importance of patients’ rights and everyone’s responsibilities in guaranteeing their respect. The celebration of the European Patients’ Rights Day every year in all the EU Member States would greatly contribute to this goal, as 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 patient organizations throughout Europe - have taken the initiative to organize for the last fifteen years a European conference to celebrate the European Patients’ Rights Day.
Now, the European Patients’ Rights Day has become a regular annual event on the European and national political agendas to inform, discuss and take commitments to improve patients’ rights in Europe and in each Member State. Every year, also thanks to the more than one hundred patient and civic associations of our network, the EPRD is celebrated in hundreds of cities and ways all around Europe, allowing civil society to fully enter policy making processes and achieve important objectives (here there are some examples of the celebrations in 2017,2018,2019,2020).
To read the programme of the conference, click here
To read the speakers' list, click here
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(Page updated on May 2022)