Policy papers

31/05/2019 - World No Tobacco Day 2019: Policy-making and public information should always stem from independent, evidence-based research

Smoking is the largest avoidable health risk in the EU and a major risk factor for chronic diseases such as cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, chronic kidney disease and hypertension. Despite ongoing efforts by policymakers, Europe has a high prevalence of tobacco use by adults (26% of the overall population) and young Europeans aged 15-24 (29% respectively).

Tobacco is responsible for nearly 700,000 premature deaths annually in the EU. In 2018, approximately 430 000 people died from lung cancer. Diseases of the respiratory system accounted for 8.5 % of all deaths in the EU in 2015. Tobacco consumption accounted for 3.6% of total COPD deaths in the European Region in 2017. Tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure contribute to approximately 17% of all cardiovascular deaths. Smoking also has a major economic impact on our societies.

Tobacco control and smoking cessation remain the most effective means to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 target 3.4 of a one-third reduction of premature deaths from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) globally by 2030, in addition to combating the onset of chronic diseases.

Further, a key target for Goal 3 is to “strengthen the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in all countries, as appropriate”. Indeed, full implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is critical to addressing the negative downstream effects of tobacco use.

ECDA commends the progress made by the WHO and the EU in the areas of: plain packaging, mandatory combined health warnings on packs and the focus of the EU Health Award 2018 on initiatives to prevent tobacco use, the promotion of smoke-free environmental laws and prohibition of characterising flavours in certain products. However, efforts must be sustained to enhance a smoke-free environment that safeguards Europe’s citizens from chronic diseases caused by tobacco and attain the associated economic benefits.

Further, citizens should be informed of the consequences of using tobacco products and the effects on human health based on independent, scientific research findings.

To mark World No Tobacco Day 2019, the ECDA calls on all EU Member States and the European Commission to take the necessary measures to guarantee that independent research, which constitutes irrefutable evidence, is the basis of policy-making and used to inform consumers of the health effects of consumption of tobacco and tobacco-related products.

Read the full statement: bit.ly/2WuXmYy

28/05/2019 - Immediate EU action on non-communicable diseases could help save almost 2 million lives by 2025

The European Chronic Disease Alliance (ECDA), the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) and the NCD Alliance publish a new joint paper “Towards an EU-Strategic Framework for the prevention of Non-communicable Diseases” concluding that a new EU-level strategic framework to prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is needed to address the chronic diseases epidemic.

With 70% of respondents to a recent EU Barometer survey wanting to see more EU action on health and with epidemic levels of NCDs undermining people’s well-being, healthcare systems, and Europe’s economic and social prosperity, preventing NCDs should be a main priority for the next European Commission.

The report provides a series of basic principles, priorities and actions, setting out a roadmap for EU policy-makers to make change happen.

Core to the future Strategic Framework are a number of tangible actions, including:

  • Rolling out NCD prevention policies recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Designing EU financial instruments that support national investment in prevention
  • Pursuing ‘EU flagship initiatives’ in areas that can deliver co-benefits for NCD prevention and other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Identifying and rectifying EU barriers to the implementation of national NCD prevention strategies
  • Establishing a pan-European system for data collection, policy evaluation and accountability
  • Ensuring thorough inter-institutional coordination on health and well-being

Read the full paper: bit.ly/2Wb8LwY

Read the summary version: bit.ly/2QvUFjL

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“Disease prevention is a fundamental component of sustainable development, economic growth and a healthy society. As we are entering a new cycle of EU political leadership, an EU Strategic Framework for NCD Prevention would guide and articulate existing and future initiatives in the field, while being an additional concrete example of the EU added value in health.”

Prof. Em. Raymond Vanholder, President, European Chronic Disease Alliance (ECDA).

“Few issues are as close to people as their health. There is no doubt that the EU has the legal power to act to prevent non-communicable diseases, the 21st century’s foremost health threat. This paper presents the incoming European Commission with concrete ways to make change happen to promote people’s health and well-being. We hope they will have the courage to take action.”

Freek Spinnewijn, President, European Public Health Alliance (EPHA).

28/05/2019 - Immediate EU action on non-communicable diseases could help save almost 2 million lives by 2025

The European Chronic Disease Alliance (ECDA), the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) and the NCD Alliance publish a new joint paper “Towards an EU-Strategic Framework for the prevention of Non-communicable Diseases” concluding that a new EU-level strategic framework to prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is needed to address the chronic diseases epidemic.

With 70% of respondents to a recent EU Barometer survey wanting to see more EU action on health and with epidemic levels of NCDs undermining people’s well-being, healthcare systems, and Europe’s economic and social prosperity, preventing NCDs should be a main priority for the next European Commission.

The report provides a series of basic principles, priorities and actions, setting out a roadmap for EU policy-makers to make change happen.

Core to the future Strategic Framework are a number of tangible actions, including:

  • Rolling out NCD prevention policies recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Designing EU financial instruments that support national investment in prevention
  • Pursuing ‘EU flagship initiatives’ in areas that can deliver co-benefits for NCD prevention and other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Identifying and rectifying EU barriers to the implementation of national NCD prevention strategies
  • Establishing a pan-European system for data collection, policy evaluation and accountability
  • Ensuring thorough inter-institutional coordination on health and well-being

Download the full paper.

Download the summary version. 

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“Few issues are as close to people as their health. There is no doubt that the EU has the legal power to act to prevent non-communicable diseases, the 21st century’s foremost health threat. This paper presents the incoming European Commission with concrete ways to make change happen to promote people’s health and well-being. We hope they will have the courage to take action”

Freek Spinnewijn, President, European Public Health Alliance (EPHA).

“Disease prevention is a fundamental component of sustainable development, economic growth and a healthy society. As we are entering a new cycle of EU political leadership, an EU Strategic Framework for NCD Prevention would guide and articulate existing and future initiatives in the field, while being an additional concrete example of the EU added value in health”

Prof. Em. Raymond Vanholder, President, European Chronic Disease Alliance (ECDA).

28/05/2019 - Immediate EU action on non-communicable diseases could help save almost 2 million lives by 2025

The European Chronic Disease Alliance (ECDA), the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) and the NCD Alliance publish a new joint paper “Towards an EU-Strategic Framework for the prevention of Non-communicable Diseases” concluding that a new EU-level strategic framework to prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is needed to address the chronic diseases epidemic.

With 70% of respondents to a recent EU Barometer survey wanting to see more EU action on health and with epidemic levels of NCDs undermining people’s well-being, healthcare systems, and Europe’s economic and social prosperity, preventing NCDs should be a main priority for the next European Commission.

The report provides a series of basic principles, priorities and actions, setting out a roadmap for EU policy-makers to make change happen.

Core to the future Strategic Framework are a number of tangible actions, including:

  • Rolling out NCD prevention policies recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Designing EU financial instruments that support national investment in prevention
  • Pursuing ‘EU flagship initiatives’ in areas that can deliver co-benefits for NCD prevention and other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Identifying and rectifying EU barriers to the implementation of national NCD prevention strategies
  • Establishing a pan-European system for data collection, policy evaluation and accountability
  • Ensuring thorough inter-institutional coordination on health and well-being

Download the full paper.
Download the summary version. 

28/09/2018 - ECDA statement on the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs

The ECDA has released a statement following the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs on the 27th of September in New York, welcoming the engagement of Heads of States and Governments from EU Member States, as well as the EU Health Commissioner who attended the meeting; but outlining the lack of ambition in the political declaration, with no reference to the WHO Best Buys and other recommended effective interventions to address chronic diseases, nor time-bound and measurable commitments from countries. 

The ECDA calls on the Member States to capitalise on the exchanges and discussions to enhance action on chronic diseases, and accelerate progress at EU level; and on the European Commission to pursue efforts and invest further in health and the chronic disease challenge which impacts sustainable economic growth, healthcare systems and labour markets in Europe.

The full statement is available here

06/2018 - 'Enough: Now is the time for EU action on NCDs'

In light of the United Nations High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), which will take place on 27 September in New York, ECDA and the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) have developed a set of recommendations with achievable steps to advance action on the prevention and control of NCDs in Europe.

The recommendations are addressed to the European Union institutions, and drawn to the attention of the Austrian Government, which will hold the EU Council Presidency at the time of the Meeting, and the Italian Government, co-facilitator of the Meeting. 

Read the paper here

 

“The prevalence of preventable chronic diseases is unacceptably high in Europe while we have solid evidence on the benefits of prevention and on how prevention can be applied efficiently. We now need political will to act from Governments and leadership from the EU — not only to support Member States but also to implement EU-wide measures where it has the competency to do so”.

Prof. Em. Raymond Vanholder, Chairman, ECDA

“The EU is lagging behind other parts of the world when it comes to policies to protect and improve our health. There is much more European governments and EU institutions can do, starting with living up to the aspirations of leadership for health, by sending Heads of State and Government to the UN High level meeting in September. Italy, as a co-facilitator of the meeting, has a leading role as well as Austria, as the EU Presidency. NGOs will be watching closely to see if the governments of both countries put people’s health ahead of vested commercial interests.”

Nina Renshaw, Secretary General, EPHA

16/05/2018 - Europe’s health deserves the EU’s attention: Investing in chronic disease prevention and management

Several MEPs joined by the European Chronic Disease Alliance launched a manifesto calling on the European Commission to recognise health as an objective in its own right in its 2019-2024 strategy, with specific targets on chronic diseases; and to allocate the necessary human and financial resources and scale up related investment to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The manifesto outlines four priority actions to deliver on the SDGs in the EU and to ensure robust, effective and innovative EU leadership in health.

It is currently supported by: Dr. Cristian-Silviu Bușoi MEP, Mr José Inácio Faria MEP, Ms Karin Kadenbach MEP, Ms Kateřina Konečná MEP, Mr Miroslav Mikolášik MEP, Mr Aldo Patriciello MEP, Mr Alojz Peterle MEP, Ms Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP, Ms Daciana Sârbu MEP, Ms Christel Schaldemose MEP, the European Chronic Disease Alliance (ECDA), the European Association Working for Carers (Eurocarers) and the MEPs Against Cancer (MAC) Group. 

For more information on the recommendations, please refer to the background document here

To support the manifesto, please contact the ECDA Secretariat at: info@alliancechronicdiseases.org 

  • 11/2017 - Boosting the employment of people with chronic diseases in Europe

    Via the EU Health Policy Platform led by the European Commission, the European Chronic Diseases Alliance has been leading a thematic network on the topic of the employment of people with chronic diseases. 16 organisations from the health, social and employment sectors partnered in the work, which led to the development of a framing paper and a call to action to ensure the sustainable employability of people with chronic conditions in the EU.

    The call to action is launched and presented to the European Commission and interested stakeholders today 27th of November during the meeting of the EU Health Policy Platform in Brussels; and is endorsed by over 24 organisations to date.

    For any information or to endorse the call on behalf of an organisation, please email the ECDA Secretariat at info@alliancechronicdiseases.org

    Read the call to action and accompanying framing paper

    Share the infographic on chronic diseases & work

    09/2017 “Move it - some is better than none”: Stepping up initiatives to increase physical activity in Europe

    In the context of the European Week of Sport 2017, ECDA has issued a position paper on physical inactivity, which provides important information on the links between health and regular physical activity, and encourages Member States and the European Commission to step up initiatives to increase physical activity in Europe, taking further steps by 2020 to contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 of reducing by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by 2030. Click here to read the paper.

     

    05/2017 ECDA Statement on World No Tobacco Day

    On World No Tobacco Day, the ECDA calls for sustained efforts to enhance a smoke-free environment. This is an essential prerequisite if we are to get serious about protecting Europe's citizens from chronic diseases caused by tobacco smoking and generate savings for our economies. Read the full ECDA statement here.

    09/2017 Particulates Matter: why the EU must do more to tackle air pollution

    While some progress is being made, the reality remains that the majority of EU citizens are exposed to air pollution levels which are actively harmful to their health. In this context, the ECDA has issued a revised position paper with further information on the link between air pollution and ill health, and policy recommendations for change. Click here to read the paper (revised version September 2017).

    09/2017 The good, the bad and the ugly – why the EU should eliminate industrially produced trans fats

    European Chronic Disease Alliance position on the need for EU regulation to set upper limits for industrially produced trans fats. Considering the substantial evidence on the negative impact of TFAs on human health, ECDA recommends that the European Commission adopts a proposal for an EU-wide regulation to virtually eliminate industrially produced TFAs in food products marketed in the EU no later than 2018.

    Click here to download the document (revised version September 2017).

    09/2017 Don’t bottle out – why the EU needs a comprehensive alcohol strategy

    The harmful and hazardous use of alcohol has a major impact on public health as it leads to over 60 chronic diseases. It also generates outstanding healthcare and social costs related to the treatment of alcohol-related diseases, public order, labour and productivity. The ECDA encourages the EU to take comprehensive action to help Europeans reduce their alcohol consumption. Click here to download the paper (revised version September 2017)

    09/2017 - Don't pass the salt! ECDA position paper on the need for EU action to help Europeans reduce excessive salt intake

    The ECDA supports the EU’s efforts to reduce Europeans’ salt consumption, but insists on the need for a more rigorous and concerted action plan which engages stakeholders and the public in salt reduction initiatives, and is bolstered by regulatory measures to stimulate the reformulation of food, provide clear and meaningful information to consumers and is followed up by an adequate monitoring system of salt intake.

    Reducing salt intake from the present norm of 8-12 grams toward the recommended level of 5 grams per day would significantly improve public health by preventing many chronic diseases, thereby reducing mortality and saving healthcare costs.

    Click here to download the document (revised version September 2017).

    2/2012 - European Chronic Disease Alliance input to the Reflection Process on chronic diseases

    Optimising the response to the epidemic of chronic diseases 
    Click here for ECDA input to Reflection Process on Chronic Disease

Background Information & References

  • 09/2017 EHN Paper on Transforming European food and drink policies for cardiovascular health

    Read the paper here.

    2017 ESMO-ECPC Patient Guide on Survivorship

    The full guide is available here.

    08/2017 EHN European Cardiovascular Disease Statistics Report (2017 edition)

    Click here to read the full CVD Statistics Report.

    07/2017 EHN Position Paper on Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease

    Read the paper here

     05/2017 ECCO Position Statement on Integrated Cancer Care

    Read the paper here

    04/2016 IDF Europe position on added sugar

    Read the paper here

    26/06/2015 International Diabetes Federation "Framework for Action on Sugar"

    To read the document, click here.

    18/06/2015 OECD report "Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes: Policies for Better Health and Quality of Care"

    Fewer people are dying from stroke and heart attacks than before, but rising levels of obesity and diabetes, particularly among younger people, are going to push mortality rates higher, according to a new OECD report. According to OECD, advances in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases have led to a 60 per cent drop in mortality rates over the past 50 years in the OECD. Click here to download the full report. 

    17/04/2013 – Reflection Process on chronic diseases: DG SANCO published the RIVM report Europeans of retirement age: chronic diseases and economic activity.

    Along with other health organisations, ECDA has been invited to contribute to the review of the report and has provided numerous recommendations.
    Download PDF-document

    9/04/2013 – European Commission (EAHC) launches Calls for Tenders in the health sector.

    Click here

    9/05/2012 – Non-communicable diseases prevention and control in the South-eastern Europe Health Network: An analysis of intersectoral collaboration

    Download PDF-document

    10/02/2012 - Contribution to consultations on proposals for global monitoring framework and targets for NCDs

    Download Pdf-document – NCD Alliance statement on targets

    15/09/2011 - European Parliament resolution of 15 September 2011 on European Union position and commitment in advance to the UN high-level meeting on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases

    Download PDF - document

    9/09/2011 – United Nations Political Declaration of the High Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Non Communicable Diseases

    Download PDF – document 

    26/11/2010 - Addressing non-communicable diseases: major challenges to sustainable development in the 21st century

    UNDESA/WHO Regional High-level Consultation in the European Region on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases, with a particular focus on the developmental challenges
    Download PDF - document

    7/10/2010 - Council conclusions “Innovative approaches for chronic diseases in public health and healthcare systems”

    Download PDF – document