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Report from meeting: Brain Health as a Global Priority – time for the EU to act now

European Federation of Neurological Associations EFNA

The meeting “Brain Health as a Global Priority - Time for the EU to Act Now”, jointly organized by the European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA), the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) and EBC was held at the European Parliament in Brussels on 18 February 2020. This event brought together key decision-makers and stakeholders to exchange views on how brain-related priorities set at the global level can be translated into policy action at the EU and national levels of governance.

The meeting heard the latest statistics from the Global Burden of Disease Study, highlighting how neurological disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide, and the second leading cause of death. Later presenters highlighted the global trends mentioned above, and how these could be leveraged at EU level. Some concrete examples from the field were also discussed; including successful global advocacy work on epilepsy and national efforts to create a Norwegian Brain Plan.

“We need to act fast and we need to act together!” - Vice-President of the Parliament Ms. Ewa Kopacz

High-level representatives from the European Parliament, European Commission and EU Presidencies also reiterated opportunities for this international activity to be reflected in EU initiatives. At the meeting a Call to Action, prepared by organisers and endorsed by supporting MEPs was announced. The document calls for EU policy makers to acknowledge and use latest data on burden of brain disease, give a higher priority to neurology as well as brain as a whole, develop European and national plans addressing brain health and sustain adequate level of brain research.

The meeting in the Parliament was followed by an afternoon workshop that enabled a discussion on next steps and further opportunities for putting brain health on the political agenda.

For further information and access to the meeting presentations, please visit the official website of EFNA.

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