January 2016 - Our Members, Our Compass
EPF is proud of its broad and diversified membership, the driving force of our daily work. In 2016, we have developed our set of communications and interactions tools to reinforce this crucial link between EPF and our members. And we keep growing! Four new members have recently joined us!
Communication and interaction with our members is paramount to our work at EPF. Their input and expertise form the backbone of our positions and credibility. To maintain and improve this collaboration, several creative tools were developed in 2016.
Because a coffee is worth a thousand emails, EPF continued to offer its members the opportunity to have an informal chat during the “Weekly virtual coffees with EPF”. In Brussels or over Skype, this bilateral exchange gives EPF the chance to collect fresh and first-hand information about what our members are doing, enabling us to connect their needs and priorities with what is going on at EU level.
We kept our members updated through our Weekly Insiders’ mailing. This short but informative email is sent on a weekly basis to ensure EPF members keep up with the latest news from Europe on what really matters for patients: upcoming events, policy developments, EPF consultations, funding opportunities.
This year also saw the launch of our very own online platform: EPF Connect! A specific online forum where members can exchange, share ideas and receive updates and documents from the EPF Secretariat.
Our members were also invited to specific events: in February, EPF organised its first Leadership Meeting where 27 patient leaders from 21 different patient organisations (EPF members) met in Brussels to take stock of the place of the patient movement in European health policy today, and to reflect on the roles and responsibilities of patient organisations therein.
In June 2016, 40 patient leaders from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands met in The Hague (NL) for the eighth EPF Regional Advocacy Seminar, held under the auspices of the Dutch Presidency. The objective of the seminar was to look specifically at the important role that patient organisations can play in the European decision-making process.
Finally, we were delighted to see four new patients’ organisations joining EPF at our Annual General Meeting in March. It is a real pleasure to welcome as full members Dystonia Europe and the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IFsbh) and to accept the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) and the Alliance of Patients’ Organisations (FYROM) as associate members. The EPF community is now supported by 67 members!
Camille Bullot, Membership and Stakeholders Relationship Manager