October is marked by one of the most important political activities of the last few years: the Written Declaration on Recognising the Burden of Allergic Disease. This has been proposed by 11 Members of the EU Parliament (MEPs) from a cross-section of political groups, and should be voted by the Parliament majority (i.e. more than 384 MEPs) in order to become officially adopted.

We have joined forces with the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Association to launch a campaign in order to support this Parliamentary initiative, finally bring allergic disease to the top table of discussion at the European Union.

Over the past few decades, allergies have often been neglected by key decision makers with the health concerns of millions being ignored in the process. Often, allergic diseases are trivialised. We, as professionals dealing with this disease on a daily basis, know this to be untrue and are well aware of the general restrictions that come with severe allergy.

Now is the time to act!

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have an opportunity to call on the European Commission and EU Member States to take action by signing the Written Declaration on Recognising the Burden of Allergic Disease, which opened for signatures on 21 October and will remain open until 21 January.

The Declaration, calls for the implementation of national programmes, better medical training and more scientific research to achieve a better management of the disease, in order to limit its evolution and cost to society. In order to motivate MEPs to vote for the Declaration, everyone of us should contact their national MEPs. Taking in to account that European elections are approaching, we have the opportunity to voice our position and make a difference for research and education in allergy, as well as for the lives of millions of patients!

The launch of the campaign supporting the Written Declaration wasn’t the only major EAACI event taking place in October, with the Pediatric Allergy and Asthma Meeting, PAAM 2013, held in Athens, Greece from October 17 – 19. I’d like to thank everyone for attending what was the biggest meetings of its kind. There was plenty of lively discussion and I look forward to reading the report in the next edition of the EAACI Newsletter.

Finally, don’t forget that there is still time to register for our next Focused Meeting, the International Symposium on Molecular Allergology, ISMA 2013, taking place from 5 – 7 December in Vienna, Austria.

Nikos Papadopoulos
EAACI President
Last updated 29 July 2014