UntitledIn response to the EBC Call to Action for developing an EU-wide Strategy for Brain Disorders, the Parliamentary Magazine devoted two articles to support this initiative in its November issue.

Professor David Nutt, the President of the European Brain Council (EBC), writes in his piece that brain health must be at heart of Europe 2020 strategy, arguing that a healthy brain is Europe’s platform for national wealth.

Further he emphasizes the importance of a healthy brain when he writes:

“We do not have to search the far reaches of space or the depths of the Earth to find the whereabouts of the most complex structure in the universe. It is the human brain and it lies inside every one of us. It controls our bodies and is the home of our personalities, thoughts and feelings. The brain is a true wonder that needs to be nurtured, protected and cared for.”

Prof Nutt underlines the importance of improved cooperation and coordination which are absolutely critical to address in an efficient manner both the challenges and opportunities posed by our brains. On this account, he introduces the EBC Call to Action which aims to foster a dialogue on developing national brain plans, which would be brought under the umbrella of an EU-wide plan addressing brain health in a comprehensive and collaborative way.

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Similarly as Prof Nutt, Philippe de Backer (ALDE, BE), a Member of Parliament’s industry, research and energy committee writes that: “It’s time the EU came forward with a European strategy to tackle brain health.”

He highlights the economic costs of the brain related diseases, as well as the emotional costs, which don’t have a limited impact on those directly affected by brain conditions, but also greatly influences their families and closest friends. In this vein, Philippe de Backer argues that:

“We must encourage the member states to develop or refine a clear strategy, both financial as well as non-financial on how to reduce the negative impact of brain disorders. That is why we need national mental illness and health plans for each EU member state. An exchange of best practices between national governments and cooperation in research is a win-win for everyone involved. A firm and constructive dialogue must form the basis of approaching this problem.”

On the account of the EBC congress on developing an EU Strategy he writes:

“This congress was a good start to motivate the appetite for more work in this field of all the European institutions. It must stimulate the creation of an effective plan to confront this highly alarming societal challenge in the strategy towards a sustainable European economy in 2020.”

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