From the 26th to the 28th of April, EAACI co-organised with the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients Associations (EFA) the Exhibition “Test Your Allergies 2016” in the European Parliament in Brussels.
With nearly 400 people getting skin prick tested for allergies and visiting the exhibition site during the three days, the event successfully achieved its aim to raise awareness on the burden of allergies in Europe amongst EU policy-makers and the broader European civil society.
Initiated under the auspices of the European Parliament’s Interest Group on Allergy and Asthma and co-hosted by three of its members (Mrs Childers, Mrs Pietikaïnen and Mr Borrelli), the event started with an opening cocktail conference on the 26th of April, during which fruitful discussions were conducted on how to better prevent and manage allergy in Europe.
Main highlights include:
• Allergy and Asthma should be put at the forefront of EU Chronic Diseases policies given that they are the most common chronic diseases in Europe.
• Building on the momentum generated at EU level on food improvement and the promotion of healthy food in light with the current EU policy priorities, advocacy actions may integrate food allergy issues as a core topic. Preventive measures should be promoted as regards food allergens, especially targeting children.
• Enhancing collaboration with the patient community in advocacy should be considered an optimal means to achieve successful outcomes.
• Addressing air quality issues and raising awareness on pollution levels in urban settings need to be amongst the focal points of further European policy actions
In conjunction to the event, EAACI Board of Officers had the opportunity to meet with key policy-makers in Brussels, including Health attachés from national governments and Members of the European Parliament. The meetings provided the occasion to inform on the organisation’s work and advocacy and discuss on improving the EU response to chronic diseases and allergy and foment research at European level in order to relieve the burden of patients affected by allergy and asthma across Europe.
As a result from this impactful advocacy actions, EAACI was delighted to welcome three new members in the European Parliament Interest Group on Allergy and Asthma: Mrs Renate Sommer (Germany, EPP Group), Mrs Dubravka Suica (Croatia, EPP Group) and MEP Christel Schaldemose (S&D, Denmark).