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34th Edition of the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) newsletter

Dr. Brona Fullen & Ms. Deirdre Ryan – European Pain Federation EFIC & Pain Alliance Europe (PAE), Belgium

Dear Reader,

we hope you are well, and ready to enjoy your deserved summer break.

Together, Resilient, Europe.

This is Slovenia’s motto, which, from the 1st of July, took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU). Coinciding with this, the European Commission officially launched the new EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2021-2027 that intends on keeping workers safe and healthy in a rapidly changing world of work. The framework defines the key priorities and actions to improve workers’ health and safety, including addressing rapid changes in our economy, demography, working patterns, and practices.

Influencing employment-related policies is one of SIP’s priorities for 2021, and in June SIP published its position paper on Workplace Integration and Adaptation. The paper highlights the need for action by European Institutions, national governments, and employers to address employment and integration issues for individuals with pain across Europe. Later this year, on the 28th of October, SIP will organise a multi-stakeholder online event hosted by MEP Alex AGIUS SALIBA (S&D, Malta) to discuss the paper’s recommendations in more detail. More information will follow soon.

Continuing on the theme of employment and pain, as you may know, SIP is a partner of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) Healthy Workplaces – Lighten the Load 202LINK0-2022 campaign. This campaign aims to raise awareness of the impact of, and ways to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Related to this, on the 7th September 2021, 14:00-15:00 CEST, SIP will hold a special edition Joint Webinar with EU-OSHA. This webinar will be an opportunity for SIP National Platform colleagues (and any interested colleagues within the broader European and national SIP networks) to discover more about the work of EU-OSHA, share their experiences with pain and employment policies at national level, and discuss the recommendations in SIP’s position paper on Workplace Integration and Adaptation. To join the webinar on the day, please follow this link:

Digital health and pain is also one of SIP’s 2021 policy priorities, and following SIP’s response to the European Commission’s Roadmap for European Health Data Space (EHDS), SIP also recently responded to the Commission’s Public Consultation on the EHDS. The EHDS aims to make full use of digital health, provide high-quality healthcare, and reduce inequalities across Europe. It intends to promote access to health data for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, research, and innovation, as well as for policymaking and legislation. Coinciding with this, SIP is currently preparing a position paper entitled “Digital Health: Pain Measurement and Quality Indicators.” More information in this will be announced shortly.

In the past months SIP has also continued its external engagement with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), notably with MEP Cyrus Engerer and MEP Marian-Jean Marinescu. We are happy to announce that MEP Marinescu has endorsed the SIP Joint Statement, and we look forward to continued collaboration with both MEPs in the future.

In the spirit of sharing more good news, we are proud to announce that “SIP’s pledge to uphold and implement the European Pillar of Social Rights” has been awarded first prize for the “Patient Empowerment” category in the European Civic Prize on Chronic Pain – III Edition. SIP Chair, Patrice Forget accepted the award on behalf of SIP. You can watch his intervention here!

On the 23rd of June, PAE President Joop van Griensven finished his mandate. The SIP Team would like to thank Joop for his hard work, his commitment to improving the lives of people with chronic pain, and his contributions to SIP over the years.

I am delighted to welcome Deirdre Ryan, the new President of Pain Alliance Europe, and look forward to working closely with Deirdre on our shared objectives and goals.

We are now more than 18 months into the pandemic, but as we reach the one-year anniversary of the new SIP governance model, we can be proud of a number of achievements, and we would like to thank you all for your continued support. There is still much to be done to improve European policies that impact people with pain, and thus SIP will continue its efforts throughout the remainder of the pandemic and beyond.

A final date for your diary is November the 9th 2021, which is when SIP will hold its annual Stakeholder Forum, recapping our achievements throughout 2021, and finalising our strategy for 2022. More information on this will follow shortly.

Finally, please remember to visit our website, and follow us on our social media channels so you do not miss anything! You can also keep up to date with SIP’s future activities by checking out our events section of our website.


We wish you a safe and relaxing summertime,

Dr. Brona Fullen, President of European Pain Federation EFIC &
Ms. Deirdre Ryan, President of Pain Alliance Europe (PAE)

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