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Monthly Newsletter edited by Cittadinanzattiva-Active Citizenship Network
Civic Activism | Patients' Rights | Consumers' Rights | Support ACN
Year 8th, number 77 - February 2020
(2019-2024 term)

MEPs Interest Group supporting the Conference on the Future of Europe

The official launch for the 2019-2024 term, of the MEPs Interest Group “European Patients' Rights & Cross-Border Healthcare” was held in Brussels in the European Parliament on January 28th with an event titled “Joined For Vaccination: addressing Vaccine Hesitancy and Increasing Uptake in EU. A Multi-Stakeholder Perspective”,  hosted by the Italian MEP Brando Benifei.
For Cittadinanzattiva-Active Citizenship Network, it is a source of pride to be the promoter of this political initiative, endorsed by almost 100 associations across Europe. The Interest Group renews its commitment to be an opportunity for the development of the policy-making process on healthcare at the EU level:  civic participation in healthcare policies should be considered not only as a praiseworthy civic act, but also as a strategic source to  safeguard the public healthcare system. Read more


Joined for vaccination – Public event at EU Parliament

The event hosted a well-attended panel discussion that brought together MEPs, ECDC, EU Joint Action on Vaccination, leading vaccinology experts from across Europe, NGOs, academia and industry.  A strong engagement by all stakeholders to tackle the issue of vaccine hesitancy was demonstrated.
The conference is part of the effort to sensitize the new EU Institutions on the topic and to contribute to sharing experiences among all stakeholders involved in the field of citizens engagement on vaccination.
The fact that the first initiative promoted in the framework of the Interest Group is linked to vaccination policies, is proof of the attention that this Interest Group wants to guarantee to this topic and more generally to the topic of prevention. To know more about the initiative, click here

- The speeches and materials of the event, realized last 28th January, are ready for the download here below:

To see the pictures visit our FB page.

Download Speakers‘ presentations

Download Speakers ‘biographies

For more information about  Active Citizenship Network engagement on vaccination, please visit our dedicated webpage.  



image004MEP Brando Benifei
Brando Benifei is an Italian MEP who has served since 2014. He is one of the first members and the co-chair of the MEPs Interest Group “European Patients' Rights & Cross-Border Healthcare” During his first term from 2014 until 2019, Benifei served on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs. In 2019, he moved to the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection. In addition, he is also a member of the European Parliament Intergroup on the Digital Agenda and the MEP Alliance for Mental Health.

image005Mariano Votta
Public affairs professional and journalist, is the Director of Active Citizenship Network (CAN), the international branch of the Italian NGO Cittadinanzattiva, where he is responsible for European Affairs. Since 2013, he has been actively involved as ACN stepped up its advocacy activities at the European Institutions, which in 2015 led to the opening of a representative office in Brussels and – above all – to the launch of the MEP Interest Group “European Patients’ Rights & Cross-Border Healthcare”, promoted with the endorsement of almost 100 organizations across Europe.
Download the Welcoming Address and the Final Remarks.

image006Hanna Nohynek
She was instrumental in designing HPV vaccine introduction to the national immunization programme. Her research interests are register-based vaccine impact studies, evidence-based policy/decision making, vaccine safety, hesitancy, RSV, influenza, and pneumococcus. She belongs to the THL team of the Joint Action Vaccines (JAV), particularly the work packages on Hesitancy and Research and Development. She authored >130 original articles, teaches, guides elective, graduate, and PhD students. She has served on expert committees evaluating HBV, PCV, Rotavirus vaccines in Finland, and as advisor to EU, IMI, IVI, WHO, GAVI, SIDA/SRC, Finnish MOFA.
Download her presentation.

image008Francesco Gesualdo
Francesco Gesualdo is a paediatrician and a researcher at the Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital IRCCS, Rome, Italy. In the past years, he has developed an experience in digital epidemiology, studying the use of Twitter for analysing flu epidemics and allergic diseases. He participated in the development of a platform exploiting different web sources for analysing vaccine confidence in Italy, he coordinated the Web Analytics Project for the WHO’s Vaccine Safety Net, and he is currently working in the European Joint Action for Vaccines, coordinating the development of an online platform dedicated to monitoring vaccine confidence on the web at the European level.
Download his presentation.

image010Magdalena R. de Azero
Executive Director Vaccines Europe, she has more than 20 years of professional experience working on policies for the pharmaceutical and vaccine industries. She is responsible for developing and managing Vaccines Europe projects and is in charge of driving the vaccine industry EU policy priorities. She is a trained journalist that holds an MA in EU Affairs and also worked as a journalist in Spain prior to focusing on the EU pharmaceutical sector.
Download her presentation

image012Silvia Romeo
Silvia Romeo is currently working as Project Manager at ThinkYoung, a Brussels-based think tank focusing on young people. Further to a ThinkYoung’s research on the Youth Vaccine Perception, Silvia is currently managing a project to engage and inform young people about this significant public health issue. Moreover, Silvia is currently a member of the Coalition for Vaccination convened by the European Commission in March 2019 to bring together European associations of healthcare workers to commit to delivering accurate information to the public, combating myths and exchanging best practice.

image014Javier Diez-Domingo, MD, PhD
Paediatrician from Valencia, Spain, at present director of the Vaccine Research Department of FISABIO and Professor of the Catholic University of Valencia. Principal Investigator in more than 50 clinical trials with vaccines, and also in epidemiological, outcomes research and pharmacoeconomic studies. Granted with over 7 European FP7 and H2020 grants, at present coordinating two of them. Very interested in the research ethics, has been member and secretary of different Ethics Committees of Valencia, and now president of the Ethics Committee of the Public Health Directorate of Valencia. He is also an external Expert of the European Medicines Agency.

image016Patrick Mahy
Graduate from the Free University of Brussels (ULB), Patrick R Mahy was quickly interested in basic research in immunology/endocrinology and moved to UCLA (CA, USA) where he had a position and started a Ph.D., working on macrophages-osteoclasts, interleukins and BMPs. He worked at the CNRS (national center for scientific research) and since 2010, Patrick works for the Scientific Institute of Public Health (Sciensano), as the head of the expertise and customer relation unit. He was also involved with the IMI Advance project in which he invested and is now in charge of the follow-up program in VAC4EU as a founder and administrator.

image018John Kinsman
He is an infectious disease social scientist, with extensive experience in sub-Saharan Africa and the European Union. He has authored or co-authored publications on a wide range of topics, including Antibiotic Resistance, Vaccine uptake, Public Health Emergency Preparedness Planning, and Health Systems. He currently works at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) as Expert, Social and Behaviour Change Communication, project managing and coordinating ECDC behavioural science and communication activities related to vaccine hesitancy.
Download his presentation.

image021MEP Tomislav Sokol
Tomislav Sokol is the Co-Chair of the MEPs Interest Group “European Patients' Rights & Cross-Border Healthcare”. He is currently serving as a Member of the European Parliament for the Croatian Democratic Union. He earned his PhD at the KU Leuven. He is part of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee and of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection. Before becoming a Member of the European Parliament, he had been a professor at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management.

image023Luciana Valente
Always committed to health issues, since 2012 she has gained experience in the management of projects dedicated to social and health policies of the elderly as a member of the National Council of Senior Italy FederAnziani and collaborator of the publication of "SIC Health In Figures  Compendium of updated data of the Italian Health". Today she is international relation manager of the SIHA association whose main mission is to give an influential senior voice in Europe and to drive senior and patient empowerment in Europe for promoting and maintaining health, preventing and managing disease.
Download her presentation.

Patients' Rights

Launched the social media campaign #VaccinAction
Together, as active and aware citizens, we can protect ourselves: become the champion of your future! In Europe, #ActiveCitizenshipNetwork promotes the life-course immunization approach”. This is the main message of the social media campaign launched by Active Citizenship Network as part of the EU project “European active citizens for vaccination”.
Watch the video! https://bit.ly/36ucLZP 

Changing the status quo in obesity
The launch of the Obesity Policy Engagement Network - EU (OPEN EU) will be held on 3 March at the EU Parliament and Co-hosted by the Danish Permanent Representation to the EU and MEP Alfred Sant. Active Citizenship Network has decided to support OPEN EU, a coalition of key EU experts, policy and decision-makers covering a wide range of areas including disability, urban planning, sports, healthcare, industry and public health amongst others. The aim of the group is to work together to implement a cross-cutting policy approach at an EU level. A focus will be to ensure EU nations are empowered and able to provide people living with obesity access to fair, effective obesity treatment and management. To participate, register here.

European Citizens’ Initiative 2.0: Design, Engage, Impact
Cittadinanzattiva has been invited as Italian partner to the conference organised by the European Commission on 6th March in Brussels. The participant will discuss how to increase citizen involvement with the revamped European Citizens’ Initiative. At the event, will be shared ideas with a number of high-level delegates, including European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová and representatives from other EU institutions and civil society organizations. For a full list of speakers and an outline of the sessions planned throughout the day, see the programme here.

Coalition for Vaccination Annual meeting
European associations of healthcare professionals have established a Coalition for Vaccination to commit to delivering accurate information to the public, combating myths and exchanging best practices. The meeting will be held on 9th March 2020 in Brussels and co-chaired by the European Federation of Nurses Associations (EFN), the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU) and the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME), and hosted by the European Commission. For further information, please contact Martine Ingvorsen (DG SANTE) or Markus Kujawa (CPME).

Consumers' Rights

Presidency Consumer Event 2020
In the framework of the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Cittadinanzattiva-Active Citizenship Network has been invited next 26-27 March in Zagreb (Croatia) at the Presidency Consumer Event 2020, Informal Ministerial Dialogues, “Future Consumer Agenda”.  The event will bring together ministers, high-level representatives in the field of policy and enforcement from all Member States, representatives of civil consumer associations and European trade and business organizations. Read more 

Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Cities and Regions
Active Citizenship Network has been invited as panellist in the workshop planned on 2-3 April in Karpacz (Poland) titled “Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Cities and Regions”.
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in 2015 by the UN General Assembly comprises seventeen Sustainable Development Goals. N.11 on the list directly refers to making cities "safe, stable, sustainable and inclusive". Several other points from the list apply, more or less, to urban and regional centers as well. Which of the objectives may present difficulties? Is there a differentiation in terms of prioritization of different objectives? What about the most essential question: is 2030 a real deadline for the implementation of the above-mentioned ambitious goals? Read more

Civic Activism

Assembly of the European Movement - Italian Council
As board member, Cittadinanzattiva will participate to the Assembly in Rome next 12 March to discuss among the others topics: the State of the European Conference on the future of Europe and possible approval of one declaration; participation in the activities of the International European Movement with particular emphasis reference to the European Congress of 19-20 November in Berlin; examination of two possible bills to be submitted to Parliament on manipulation of information and European electoral law. For further information, click here.  

Made in Italy: The Italian Business Environment
Active Citizenship Network has been invited as guest speaker for the Service Learning Program of the John Cabot University.
During the course "Made in Italy: The Italian Business Environment" it would be presented the Cittadinanzattiva-Active Citizenship Network work, in Italy and in Europe, explaining the challenges we meet and the results achieved. This course won the Adriano Olivetti award in 2017 for its function of making foreigners understand Italian culture, putting aside stereotypes. Since years Cittadinanzattiva-Active Citizenship Network has signed an agreement with the John Cabot University to provide internship on EU Affairs. To know more, click here


5 May 2020, Brussels (Belgium): JOIN US for the XIV European Patients’ Rights Day
Active Citizenship Network (ACN) is glad to invite you to the 14th European Patients’ Rights Day that will be celebrated at the European Parliament in Brussels the 5th May 2020.
The topic of this year conference will be "ONE health approach MULTIPLE answers: citizen’s engagement & multi stakeholder’s action to tackle antimicrobial resistance and sustain EU progress". Considering that AMR causes more deaths than car accidents, why are most people unaware aware of it? Which role has been reserved for citizen and actors involved in the health chain?                                                  



Director and Editor in chief: Mariano Votta
Editors: Daniela Quaggia, Bianca Ferraiolo
Coordination and Production: Giacomo D'Orazio 

To contribute, plase write to: mail@activecitizenship.net

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