Latest News

  • 28/09/2018 - ECDA statement on the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs

    The ECDA has released a statement following the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs on the 27th of September in New York, welcoming the engagement of Heads of States and Governments from EU Member States, as well as the EU Health Commissioner who attended the meeting; but outlining the lack of ambition in the political declaration, with no reference to the WHO Best Buys and other recommended effective interventions to address chronic diseases, nor time-bound and measurable commitments from countries. 

    The ECDA calls on the Member States to capitalise on the exchanges and discussions to enhance action on chronic diseases, and accelerate progress at EU level; and on the European Commission to pursue efforts and invest further in health and the chronic disease challenge which impacts sustainable economic growth, healthcare systems and labour markets in Europe.

    The full statement is available here

    03/09/2018 - Global Week for Action on NCDs | Our Health, Our Right, Right Now

    The first Global Week for Action on NCDs - from Monday 3 September to Sunday 9 September 2018 - is a global opportunity to talk about non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and what needs to change to improve people's health.

    The week is launched in light of the ENOUGH campaign initiated by the global NCD Alliance, building towards the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs on 27 September in New York.

    One Action Per Day

    There are 4 main preventable risk factors to NCDs: tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, and the harmful use of alcohol. Air pollution is also a leading contributor to NCDs.

    The European Chronic Disease Alliance (ECDA) and European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) highlight one effective action per day during the week that can tackle each risk factor.

    More information here.

    07/06/2018 - 'Enough: Now is the time for EU action on NCDs'

    In light of the United Nations High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), which will take place on 27 September in New York, ECDA and the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) have developed a set of recommendations with achievable steps to advance action on the prevention and control of NCDs in Europe.

    The recommendations are addressed to the European Union institutions, and drawn to the attention of the Austrian Government, which will hold the EU Council Presidency at the time of the Meeting, and the Italian Government, co-facilitator of the Meeting. 

    Read the paper here

    06/06/2018 - Joint Civil Society Statement: HLM on NCDs must deliver bold commitments, action

    Joining 190 organisations worldwide, ECDA calls for bolder commitments and action to address chronic diseases at global level and in the EU.

    We welcome the report of the WHO Independent High-Level Commission on Non-Communicable Diseases - notably the call for high-level ownership of national NCD responses from Prime Ministers and Presidents - but outline recommendations for the Third UN High-Level Meeting (HLM) on NCDs to be a true turning point in the response to chronic diseases.

    Civil society is ready to work with WHO and governments in the lead up to the UN HLM and beyond to build on these recommendations and set the bar higher for people at risk of and living with NCDs worldwide.

    ECDA especially looks forward to the opportunity to work further with the European Union institutions to this aim and ensure a leading contribution of the EU to the UN HLM. 

    Read the full statement here

    16/05/2018 - Europe’s health deserves the EU’s attention: Investing in chronic disease prevention and management

    Several MEPs joined by the European Chronic Disease Alliance launched a manifesto calling on the European Commission to recognise health as an objective in its own right in its 2019-2024 strategy, with specific targets on chronic diseases; and to allocate the necessary human and financial resources and scale up related investment to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    The manifesto outlines four priority actions to deliver on the SDGs in the EU and to ensure robust, effective and innovative EU leadership in health.

    It is currently supported by: Ms Karin Kadenbach MEP, Ms Kateřina Konečná MEP, Mr Alojz Peterle MEP, Ms Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP, Ms Daciana Sârbu MEP, the European Chronic Disease Alliance (ECDA), the European Association Working for Carers (Eurocarers) and the MEPs Against Cancer (MAC) Group. 

    For more information on the recommendations, please refer to the background document here

    To support the manifesto, please contact the ECDA Secretariat at: 

    16th May 2018 - Towards the SDGs: What place for chronic diseases in the EU agenda post 2019?

    Hosted by MEP Karin Kadenbach (S&D, Austria), MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP, Finland) and MEP Daciana Sârbu (S&D, Romania)

    The event gathered the health and non-health sectors to discuss EU action on chronic diseases and how to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the context of the UN High-Level meeting on NCDs taking place in September 2018 and the changing EU leadership in 2019.

    It launched a Manifesto for the recognition of health as an objective in its own right in the European Commission 2019-2024 strategy, with specific objectives on chronic diseases and targeted investment to deliver on the UN SDGs.

    The programme of the meeting is available here.

    Read the post-event communication here and the summary event report here

    For more information, please email at

    03/2018 - Setting up a sub-group on Health and Social Policy within the Multi-Stakeholder Platform on the Implementation of the SDGs

    The ECDA sent a letter to Commission First-Vice President Timmermans ahead of the Management Committee meeting of the Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP) on the implementation of the SDGs (14th of March) to stress how important it is that the sixth Reflection Paper "Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030" addresses the challenges that the EU and its Member States face because of the large and increasing burden of chronic diseases.

    To ensure effective attention to this challenge, the ECDA suggests the creation of a “horizontal” sub-group on Health and Social Policy, which would go to the very heart of ‘Better Regulation’, ensuring a coherent and streamlined policy development and echoing EU citizens’ call for more European-level decision-making in dealing with health and social security issues.

    The letter can be read here

    02/2018 - ECDA supports NCD Alliance Global Advocacy Agenda of People Living with NCDs

    The ECDA expresses its full support to the Global Advocacy Agenda of People Living with NCDs, launched in December 2017 by the Non Communicable Diseases Alliance (NCD Alliance) and fully backs efforts of key stakeholders to improve NCD prevention and control worldwide. We encourage EU and national policy-makers to hear the calls of people living with chronic diseases ahead of the UN High-Level Summit on NCDs in September 2018. 

    Read ECDA statement here

    02/2018 - 39 organisations now supporting recommendations to improve the employment & reintegration into work of people with chronic diseases

    The Call to Action on the employment of people with chronic diseases is now supported by 39 national and European organisations from the employment, social and health sectors! 

    To express support to the Call to Action, send the logo of your organisation by email to the ECDA Secretariat.

    We also invite you to spread the word and disseminate widely the Call to Action, Framing Paper and Infographic, available for download here.

    For more information on this initiative, click here

    11/2017 - Boosting the employment of people with chronic diseases in Europe

    Via the EU Health Policy Platform led by the European Commission, the European Chronic Diseases Alliance has been leading a thematic network on the topic of the employment of people with chronic diseases. 16 organisations from the health, social and employment sectors partnered in the work, which led to the development of a framing paper and a call to action to ensure the sustainable employability of people with chronic conditions in the EU.

    The call to action is launched and presented today 27th of November during the meeting of the EU Health Policy Platform in Brussels; and is endorsed by over 24 organisations to date.

    For any information or to endorse the call on behalf of an organisation, please email the ECDA Secretariat at

    Read the call to action and accompanying framing paper

    Share the infographic on chronic diseases & work

    Latest news here

    09/2017 “Move it - some is better than none”: Stepping up initiatives to increase physical activity in Europe

    In the context of the European Week of Sport 2017, ECDA has issued a position paper on physical inactivity, which provides important information on the links between health and regular physical activity, and encourages Member States and the European Commission to step up initiatives to increase physical activity in Europe, taking further steps by 2020 to contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 of reducing by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by 2030. Click here to read the paper.

    31/05/2017 - ECDA Statement on World No Tobacco Day

    Efforts must be sustained to build a smoke-free environment and protect Europeans from chronic diseases caused by tobacco smoking. Read ECDA full statement here.

    18/04/2017 - Joint stakeholder statement on the employment of people with chronic diseases 

    ECDA is coordinating the production of a joint stakeholder statement on the employment of people with chronic diseases, via a thematic network on the EU Health Policy Platform.

    The present initiative aims to enhance a collaborative work by interested EU organisations from the health, social or employment sector to share their perspective on the current situation for people with chronic diseases on the employment market and underlying issues with EU policy-makers and provide policy recommendations for change.

    Involvement can take the form of drafting part of the statement, or providing input and adding to the paragraphs produced by other stakeholders.

    The paper aims to be a living document until a final version is agreed upon in late October 2017.

    Organisations interested in partnering with the ECDA in this work can join the thematic network on the EU Health Policy Platform, or email at 

    10/04/2017 - 14 Health NGOs ask MEPs in the CULT committee to reduce child exposure to unhealthy foods and alcohol

    On the 10th of April, 14 EU health organisations wrote an open letter to the members of the European Parliament Committee on Culture and Education, in light of the committee's draft report on the European Commission's proposal to revise the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD).

    The proposal includes provisions governing commercial communications for foods high in fat, sugar, and salt (HFSS food) and alcoholic beverages to children and minors.

    However, the Committee's draft report weakens the provisions, proposing in particular to delete the one article that explicitly addresses the marketing of HFSS food.

    The full open letter is available here.

    28/02/2017 - ECDA joins call for actions on health equity

    Together with 28 other EU health organisations, the ECDA is calling on the European institutions and EU Member States to recognise the central role that health and health equity play in building strong and sustainable social market economies.

    The Call for Actions on health equity is available here and a background paper here.

    More information on the Joint Statement is available on the website of the coordinating organisation EuroHealthNet.


The European Response to Chronic Diseases - the Role of Civil Society

12 & 13 December 2016, Brussels

ECDA and the NCD Alliance organise a regional meeting in Brussels to strengthen civil society engagement in the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in the WHO European region.
The meeting titled ‘The European Response to Chronic Diseases - the Role of Civil Society’ will take place on 12 and 13 December 2016 and is co-sponsored by the World Health Organization.
Meeting programme and more information.

EU initiatives and Progress on Chronic Diseases - Open letter to Timmermans, Andriukaitis and Katainen

ECDA together with other ten health organisations sends an open letter to high level Commission officials in the follow up of the conference ''Towards better prevention and management of chronic diseases'' of 21 April. Click here to read the letter.

ECDA speaks at EC conference about Preventing Chronic Diseases – opportunities for patients and citizens

ECDA was invited by the European Commission to present its views at the conference Towards better prevention and management of chronic diseases, organized in Brussels on 21 April.

Prof. Johan De Sutter, Acting Chairman of ECDA, spoke on behalf of the alliance and highlighted that an EU chronic disease framework is urgently needed in order to address the human and economic costs of chronic diseases in a coordinated manner. In his presentation Preventing Chronic Diseases – opportunities for patients and citizens, he put forward concrete recommendations for the EC to develop initiatives on common risk factors such as salt, trans-fatty acids (TFAs), alcohol and air pollution.

ECDA members were delighted to hear that several Member States and health NGOs called as well for an EU strategy on chronic diseases, recognizing the gravity of the chronic diseases burden that negatively affect European citizens’ lives.

The video recording of the conference can be accessed here.

ECDA Call to Action for a Comprehensive EU Framework on Chronic Diseases by 2017

Our Mission:

To reverse the alarming rise in chronic diseases by providing leadership and policy recommendations based on contemporary evidence.

Our Objectives



  • Build an environment that promotes health and encourages citizens to make healthy choices

    • Continue supporting the School Fruit Scheme
    • EU structural and agricultural funds should contribute to creating healthier societies
    • Employ regulatory interventions to restrict advertising for unhealthy products, especially to children, and potentially for setting compositional standards, e.g. salt and fat

    Enhance cooperation on research and ensure availability of comparable data

    • To overcome the existing fragmentation and duplication of research in Europe in the health field, human health must be at the core. There is a major gap in translational research in Europe and better care delivery will only be possible if sustainable networks across Europe join together and share their resources to tackle the scientific challenges
    • Comparable data at EU level on incidence, prevalence, risk factors and outcomes, is urgently needed. EU registries are clearly missing

    Devote resources to health care

    • eHealth interventions hold promises but more research into effectiveness and cost-effectiveness is needed
    • Educate and train health care personnel so that they can deliver optimal health, including but not limited to caring for patients with multiple chronic conditions

    Intervene on health determinants: tobacco, food and nutrition, alcohol and physical activity. Priority areas:

    • Introduce mandatory standardised packaging of cigarettes with 80% of front and back devoted to pictorial health warnings
    • Adopt a nutrient profiling system that will allow health and nutrition claims only on healthier options
    • Ensure the implementation of the WHO Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol
    • Prioritise the needs of pedestrians and cyclists over those of motorists in urban development and ensure easy access to facilities encouraging physical activitying chronic diseases

    Invest in prevention measures to tackle chronic diseases

    • Early detection and diagnosis, implementation of population-based quality assured screening programmes, evaluation of social inequalities and development of novel tools to detect chronic disease in at-risk populations are all measures that should be encouraged at Member State level
    • Austerity measures adopted by many European countries have seriously affected access to care for chronic disease patients. Yet, the economic crisis should be used as an opportunity to explore new and innovative ways of tackling chronic diseases

The definition of chronic diseases according to the World Health Organization is:

Chronic diseases are diseases of long duration and generally slow progression. Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, are by far the leading cause of mortality in Europe, representing 77% of the total disease burden and 86% of all deaths. These diseases are linked by common risk factors, underlying determinants and opportunities for intervention.