A Positive Meeting with Commissioner Kyriakides regarding the EU4Health Programme and funding for NGOs
Following a meeting to discuss operational funding for EU Health NGOS on Friday 30 July, the European Patients’ Forum (EPF) welcomes Commissioner Kyriakides’ willingness to investigate a positive solution to support European health civil society to continue operating in their independent capacity as key partners of EU institutions.
The EU4Health 2021 Work Programme's proposed abandonment of the core funding for health NGOs in the risks undermining the independence of civil society organisations as well as the democratic legitimacy in the EU’s policy process. More importantly, it risks denying Europeans their voice in EU policy making while losing decades of expertise that civil society has built up in the field of public health.
Time is of the essence for civil society, as this approach must be urgently addressed to avoid devastating consequences for European health NGOs and their key work to improve the health of all Europeans. NGOs are not asking the Commission for more money, rather, to continue to invest in the long-term future of the health civil society sector, as is the case in other policy areas such as social affairs or environment.
During the meeting, Commissioner Kyriakides acknowledged the importance of the issue and committed to explore a positive solution within the framework of the EU4Health Programme Regulation. Commissioner Kyriakides also affirmed the importance of patient organisations and health NGOs as key partners of the European Commission, in particular at such a crucial juncture for the future of health in the EU.
Dr Marco Greco, EPF’s President said: “The ongoing dialogue with Commissioner Kyriakides and her team is precious and essential to us. While we appreciate and recognise that there is an increase in funding opportunities within the EU4Health Programme, we must stress that they cannot substitute Operating Grants. The EU4Health programme and the European Health Union set out ambitious roadmaps to improve the health of all Europeans, but this will not be possible without the immense efforts and added value that health NGOs and patient organisations bring to the table. It is paramount that a solution is found regarding Operating Grants, to ensure that we can build a sustainable EU health future with a strong independent voice from patients and civil society.”