The first European Patients' Rights Day was celebrated on 29th March 2007 at the European Parliament in Brussels, with more than 180 delegates from 25 countries representing the interest of patients. Also taking part in the event were the public, policymakers, healthcare providers, legislators, payers and industry. Head of cabinet of the Commissioner, Mr. Philippe Brunet, opened the event and some 23 MEPs from various political groups all spoke of the importance of a European Patients' Rights Day. The event concluded with the commitment from Active Citizenship Network and participating organizations to push forward for the institutionalisation of the European Day, the adoption of the Charter, and campaign for its implementation in all countries along with the celebration of the second European Patients' Rights day in all European Union countries.
This was followed by two European Parliament Resolutions, respectively the “European Parliament resolution of 15 March 2007 on Community action on the provision of cross-border healthcare” (EN – IT) and the “European Parliament resolution of 23 May 2007 on the impact and consequences of the exclusion of health services from the Directive on services in the internal market” (EN – IT), calling for “the adoption of a European Charter of Patients' Rights on the basis of existing charters in the Member States and of the work carried out by non-governmental organizations” and recognizing “that there is a need to incorporate a common Charter of patients’ rights in the future community framework in order to ensure such rights are exercised in practice across borders and in the home country”.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) also approved an “Opinion on Patient’s Rights” in September 26, 2007 that “welcomes and acknowledges the European Charter of Patients' Rights, promoted by Active Citizenship Network since 2002”. Within the same opinion, the EESC calls on the European Commission to establish a European Patients' Rights Day, as we demanded during the first European Patients’ Right Day. To know more, click here.
Date of the European celebration: 29th March 2007
Place: European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium
The "Monitoring patients' rights in Europe" project was a joint effort by Active Citizenship Network (ACN), the European policy program of the Italian movement Cittadinanzattiva and the Tribunal for Patients' Right (TDM), the health policy program of the same movement along with civic organizations in each of the monitored countries.
This project is a follow up from the initial one started in 2002 with the drafting and promoting of the European Charter of Patients' Rights. The general aim of the project was to monitor the state of implementation of the 14 rights, as declared in the European Charter.
The right to carry out auditing and assessment activities in order to measure the actual respect for the rights of citizens in the health care system can be considered a basic activity of active citizenship. Carrying out this activity at the European level could therefore be considered a concrete and practical experience of exercising European active citizenship.
A civic evaluation of National Regulatory Authorities (on transport, energy, etc.) is a typical example of a consumer organisation working for general interest services. The project involved eight European member States. The added value of this kind of evaluation was representing citizens' and consumers' points of view. Analyzing the complaints gathered by citizens and consumers' organizations and the experiences they might have had working with the National Regulatory Authorities of their countries of origin created a new level of evaluation of the efficiency and efficacy of the National Regulatory Authorities. This activity enabled us to compare the strengths and weaknesses of their functioning and identify best practices.
The Charter aims to bridge the gap existing in the Community rules about the rights, duties, powers and responsibilities of civic organisations acting in the public policies cycle. The Charter was drawn up on the basis of an analysis of 50 good practices in the relationship between citizens' organisations and institutions gathered in 10 European Union countries and of the comments, feedback and suggestions of scholars, citizens' organisations, and public institutions.
As part of their activities on the "citizens' side" of corporate social responsibility and on the participation of citizens' organizations in policymaking, Active Citizenship Foundation (FONDACA) and Active Citizenship Network (ACN) carried out a research project on partnerships between private companies and citizens' organizations in eight European Union countries. The research aimed, on the one hand, at filling the existing gap in knowledge on cooperation between citizens' organizations and companies in developing corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities; and, on the other, at identifying guidelines based on existing good practices for the development of partnerships in Europe.
The project aimed to involve citizens' organizations of the newly formed Europe and Latin America in the assessment and the revision of the representativeness criteria used to identify the civic NGOs to be involved in public policy making at the national, European, and international level. The general aim was to examine the existing institutional criteria for identifying civic organizations to participate in the public policy process and to bring together civic organizations' proposals for fair and feasible criteria. The rationale underlying this project was that, while civic NGOs have a growing role in policymaking at all levels, the identification criteria used by institutions to involve these organizations are often obscured or otherwise inadequate.
The European Charter of Patients' Rights was drafted in 2002 by Active Citizenship Network in collaboration with 12 citizens' organizations from different EU countries. The European Charter of Patients' Rights states 14 patients' rights that together aim to guarantee a "high level of human health protection" (Article 35 of the Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union) and to assure the high quality of services provided by the various national health services in Europe.
The 14 rights are an embodiment of fundamental rights and, as such, they must be recognised and respected in every country. They are correlated with duties and responsibilities that both citizens and health care stakeholders have to assume. The Charter applies to all individuals, recognising the fact that differences, such as age, gender, religion, socio-economic status etc., may influence individual health care needs. Period: 2002
This PROJECT intended to support national-based citizens' organizations of the, at the time, 28 New Europe countries in their efforts to be involved in the building of European citizenship. It was implemented between September 2002 and December 2003 and involved 32 citizens' organizations operating at the national level as partners. The project's general aim was to promote a European policy on civic organisations regarding the European Union institutions and national governments.