The main objective of this project was to raise the desire to become active citizens among young Europeans, informing them about the meaning and concrete practice of volunteering based on direct experience of civic and voluntary organisations. Furthermore, the project allowed voluntary organisations to understand better their actions in the European framework and qualified teachers to experiment with a new way of informal learning.
The project "Assessing Patients' Rights in Europe" aims to assess with the cooperation of national citizens' organizations the situation of 14 Rights as stated in the European Charter of Patients' Rights in various European countries and consequently set up a report on the state of these rights.
ACN has been developing a set of indicators and a methodology for assessing patients' rights in Europe inspired by a Civic information (civic audit) approach, which has been used as a framework in the Italian experience of Cittadinanzattiva.
The European Charter on Patients' Rights which aims at strengthening and bringing greater awareness concerning patients and citizens' rights, making concrete and applicable certain rights present in the Nice Charter of Fundamental Rights is the foundation of this new an innovative project developed by ACN.Citizens reporting on patients' rights is a concrete step towards strengthening and increasing the European civic dimension, an active European citizenship. This report will:
Putting Citizens at the center of Health Policy begins with guaranteeing patients rights are respected.
The reinforcement of Patients' rights will become effective only with the cooperation and commitment of all healthcare stakeholders in every EU country. It is thus essential to increase awareness regarding the importance of patients' rights and everyone's responsibilities in guaranteeing their respect.
We believe that celebrating a European Patients' Rights Day every year in all EU Member States is greatly contributing to this goal. It is common occasion to inform, discuss and take commitments to improve patients' rights in Europe and put citizens at the center of health policy.
During the IV EPRD, in the morning, the MEPs presented a Declaration for the institutionalization of the European Patients’ Rights Day (n.41/2010) and there were the speeches of the representative from important European networks and institutions supporting the Day and the Declaration. The afternoon session was dedicated to sharing innovative experiences regarding citizen and patient participation in health policy specifically regarding HTA and evaluating health services.
During the conference it was stated that if organizations and associations want to continue to move forward in developing a policy on patients’ rights in Europe, it is necessary that the question regarding the concrete condition of citizens facing health facilities in Europe is put on the table, and taken into account when discussing and more importantly when deciding on the sustainability of health systems. Concerning this, data coming from patients’-citizens’ groups can help fill the information gaps resulting from the official sources.
Date of the European celebration: 6th may 2010
The third European Patients' Rights Day took place on 18th of April 2009 and was celebrated by 34 citizen and patient organizations arranging more than 80 events in 24 European Countries. There were important national events such as seminars, educational workshops, information stands and handing out information in hospitals, clinics, universities and other public areas.
In addition there was a final European conference held in the Strasbourg Parliament with the active participation of the Healt Commissioner Vassiliou, and MEPs from the various political groups on 22 April the day before the crucial European Parliamentary vote on EU legislature that effected patients' rights (Directive on Patients' rights in cross border care, recommendations on patient safety and recommendations on rare disease).
In this occasion, Commissioner Vassilliou claimed: “I am convinced that the general progression towards the active involvement of patients will help them to benefit more from their health care and help professionals to better understand their patients”, Vassillou said. He continued: “Patients’ rights are the core of the “Europe for Patients” campaign that I launched in September last year. This campaign highlights a number of European Union initiatives on health which are bound by a common goal: Better healthcare for all in Europe”.
The second European Patients' Rights Day, promoted by Active Citizenship Network and its partners,was celebrated on 18th of April 2008 with national and local events.
The Charter was translated in 16 languages and informative pamphlets and posters were handed out in all events along with staples in support of the official recognition of the European Patients' Rights Day.
In addition, a European conference titled European Event of the European Patients’ Rights Day 2008, promoted by Active Citizenship Network in collaboration with Europa Donna Slovenia, was organized with some 120 participants. The latter - which represented many different stakeholders, including European and national citizens’ and patients’ organizations, health professionals - took place in Gorizia, a small city on the border between Italy and Slovenia, which embodies the European dimension of patients' rights and the concreteness of cross-border care. All of these activities received the patronage of the European Parliament, the European Commissioner Androulla Vassilliou and the European Economic and Social Committee.
The European Citizens' Consultation 2009 (ECC09) was a participative cross-border deliberative experiment that aimed to give European citizens a platform to discuss ideas with other EU citizens. In addition, the ECC09 aimed to give EU citizens a voice and allow them access to determining Europe's economic and social future. The main objectives were to promote interaction between citizens and policymakers, establish citizens as policy advisors, bring the EU closer to its citizens, increase public interest in the EU, expand civil society networks across the EU, and develop citizens' participation as a future policy tool. Cittadinanzattiva was the Italian partner and organized a national consultation.
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.