Towards an Italian coalition of patients’ representatives
EPF Membership Officer Camille Bullot travelled to Rome, Italy, on 10 December 2014 to meet with Italian Patients’ representatives. This is part of our wider membership strategy to ensure representativeness in every country, to be expanded to Scandinavian countries in 2015, but also linked to national level cooperation.
Over the years, several national Italian organisations have expressed an interest in becoming members of EPF. Unfortunately EPF was not able to give a positive answer to these requests given that our statutes foresee that our membership shall be composed of pan-European disease-specific organisation and national coalitions of patient organisations representing ten or more diseases.
However, EPF is still committed to cooperating with Italian patients’ organisations for a series of reasons. One of them is that getting their support would make our voice stronger to influence the European legislative process. Moreover, the building of national alliances in Italy would be a major step towards uniting the patient movement across Europe.
Enthusiam and openess
The participating organisations showed enthusiasm and openness to participate in building a national coalition. In particular, they saw this as an opportunity for them to become visible at national level and engage in a more effective dialogue with decision-makers and health actors. For now, this dialogue, when it exists, is not continuous or structured and is very much based on personal relationships.
The EUPATI Italian national platform is currently in development (see article), which will create another opportunity for the Italian groups to explore synergies. EPF will closely support the evolution of what could be the first Italian national coalition of patient organisations.
Contact: Camille Bullot, Membership Officer, email@example.com.