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On 18 February 2020, EFNA together with EBC and EAN, will hold the event “Brain Health as a Global Priority – Time for the EU to Act Now” in the European Parliament, Brussels from 11am to 1pm in Room 6Q1, hosted by Jarosław Duda, EPP.

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The event is held under the patronage of Members of the European Parliament [EP]:

  • Ewa Kopacz, Vice President of the EP, European People’s Party [EPP]
  • Mairead McGuinness, Vice President of the EP, European People’s Party [EPP]
  • Frédérique Ries, Vice-Chair, Renew Europe [RE]
  • Kateřina Konečná, European United Left–Nordic Green Left [GUE/NGL]
  • Tilly Metz, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance [EFA]

The event looks to explore the following:

Is brain health a global priority?
In the Political Declaration on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), which arose from the United Nations (UN) High-Level Meeting on NCDs in 2018, all Governments recognized that ‘mental disorders and other mental health conditions, as well as neurological disorders, contribute to the global burden of NCDs. It resulted in adding mental and neurological health as the ‘5th NCD’, complementing global efforts to combat cancer, CVD, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases. This has been reinforced in the recent 2019 UN Declaration on the Universal Health Coverage, where ‘mental disorders and other mental health conditions as well as neurological disorders have been identified as an ‘essential component of UHC’. Additionally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is also now building a new Brain Health team to operate from its headquarters in Geneva. The question now is how can we ensure this progress can be translated into policy action at EU and member state level?

How do we make brain health an EU priority?

It is clear that we can no longer afford to soft-pedal the agenda of brain health, which has been largely neglected in the Union’s efforts in addressing NCDs. We need to follow the data and work together towards effective and implementable solutions. We will discuss these issues at the event, with key actors engaged in health promotion and disease prevention at the global and EU level. This will include representatives from WHO, EU Member States, NCD global and European advocacy groups, patient organizations, clinicians and more, along with Members of the European Parliament and European Commission. It will allow for an expert-led, action orientated discussion aimed at identifying challenges and opportunities laying ahead of EU in the years to come.

The draft agenda is available below:

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