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.


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.


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.

NCDs In The EU 

  • Non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs) are responsible for 86% of all deaths in the WHO European Region.
  • EU countries spend nearly 10% of GDP on healthcare. Up to 80% of this spending goes towards the treatment of NCDs, amounting to around €700 billion per year. (source). 
  • In 2013, 550.000 people between the age of 25 and 64 died from NCDs in the EU. Deaths from NCDs represent a loss of €115 billion, or 0.8% of GDP per year for the EU economy (source).
  • People with NCDs suffer from reduced productivity, reduced employment, earlier retirement, and lower income, with major macro- and micro-economic consequences for work, economic development and prosperity. (source). 

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:


'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


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. In particular:

  • Put people first and meaningfully involve people living with NCDs and young people
  • Call out the commercial determinants of health as a major obstacle to progress
  • Adopt a comprehensive approach to sugar, tobacco and alcohol taxes (STAX)
  • Tackle the NCD risk factors in a comprehensive manner
  • Maintain a balanced approach to prevention and treatment in the NCD response

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


'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.

“The prevalence of preventable chronic diseases is unacceptably high in Europe while we have solid evidence on the benefits of prevention and on how prevention can be applied efficiently. We now need political will to act from Governments and leadership from the EU — not only to support Member States but also to implement EU-wide measures where it has the competency to do so”.

Prof. Em. Raymond Vanholder, Chairman, ECDA

“The EU is lagging behind other parts of the world when it comes to policies to protect and improve our health. There is much more European governments and EU institutions can do, starting with living up to the aspirations of leadership for health, by sending Heads of State and Government to the UN High level meeting in September. Italy, as a co-facilitator of the meeting, has a leading role as well as Austria, as the EU Presidency. NGOs will be watching closely to see if the governments of both countries put people’s health ahead of vested commercial interests.”

Nina Renshaw, Secretary General, EPHA


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: Dr. Cristian-Silviu Bușoi MEP, Mr José Inácio Faria MEP, Ms Karin Kadenbach MEP, Ms Kateřina Konečná MEP, Mr Miroslav Mikolášik MEP, Mr Aldo Patriciello MEP, Mr Alojz Peterle MEP, Ms Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP, Ms Daciana Sârbu MEP, Ms Christel Schaldemose 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: info@alliancechronicdiseases.org


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 info@alliancechronicdiseases.org


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 Aldo Patriciello 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: info@alliancechronicdiseases.org


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.