Making chronic disease prevention matter in Europe – ECDA’s statement ahead of the European Parliament’s vote on the EU4Health programme

Prevention is a priority in the EU4Health programme, as it should be. ECDA calls on the European Parliament to adopt the provisional agreement of December 2020 to ensure that the Programme can rapidly assume its mission of further preventing diseases and promoting health in Europe.

The ECDA welcomes the inclusion of prevention as a priority, with at least 20% of the budget reserved for health promotion and disease prevention by addressing risk factors such as tobacco use and harmful alcohol consumption. As the burden of chronic diseases continues to rise and prevention remains the most cost-effective way of reducing premature mortality and DALYs, this decision should bring long-lasting benefits across the EU.

According to ECDA Chairman Prof. Vanholder, “Chronic diseases share common preventable risk factors. The priority on prevention in the EU4Health deal is a landmark step towards a healthier and more sustainable Europe. The multifaceted impact of chronic diseases on the EU’s population, societies and economies require that policymakers adopt robust measures and budgets. We welcome this strong commitment to improving the response to chronic diseases, while building more resilient healthcare systems”.

There is no single EU Member State which is not affected by the challenge of chronic diseases. The EU4Health programme will allow the EU to support efforts in a coordinated way while responding to specific needs.

While the EU4Health programme is part of the EU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the deal illustrates the fact that the WHO’s recommendation to stimulate chronic disease prevention and control as part of COVID-19 recovery and investment plans is acted upon at EU level.

Find the full statement here.