European COPD Coalition

September 15th, 2014 | Posted by European COPD Coalition in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

The European COPD Coalition calls for action and support from the EU decision makers to help fight the disease and reduce its financial, social and psychological impact.

Health policy decision- makers must support patients, their families, carers and the entire society impacted by the burden of the disease, by creating a framework programme that will be aimed at eliminating avoidable COPD incidence and premature death.

The European COPD Coalition’s Call to Action  seeks political impetus to put in place the right structure addressing all aspects of COPD. This framework should aim to improve the health and quality of life of European citizens, including persons at risk of, or affected by, COPD. Based on the common European values of universal healthcare, access to good quality care, equity and solidarity, and encouraging innovation, the COPD framework  should encompass health promotion, disease prevention, medical and psychological support, and the social and environmental aspects of the disease.

ECC Call to Action promotes 21 concrete measures to be put in place or supported by the European Union, in full cooperation with Member States, regulating bodies and stakeholders.





On 5 September 2014 is launched the Healthy Lungs for Life campaign, in support of World Spirometry Day 2014. Healthy Lungs for Life is one of the largest ever lung health campaigns, raising awareness of the importance of healthy lungs to healthcare professionals, scientists, primary care, patients, policy makers and the public through a full range of events, projects and promotional activities.

In 2014, the theme is “Breathe clean air”. At the European level, ERS and ELF are the intiators of events.

In 2014, Healthy Lungs for Life aims to increase knowledge of the impact of poor air quality on lung health and to raise awareness of the actions that everyone can take to protect their own lungs from indoor and outdoor air pollution.

ECC will be present on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 at the Munich Odeonsplatz lung function testing events and cordially invites you to join ECC there.


European citizens voted in May 2014 to renew the European Parliament. 551 Members (MEP) joined on the 1st of July, to represent the 28 Member States of the European Union. How does the EP function? Where do health matters fall in this organisation? A recap.

MEPs decided on which political group they wished to sit, as they are not organised by nationality, but by political affiliation. There are currently 7 political groups in the European Parliament. The biggest groups are the European People’s Party (EPP- christian democrats) and the Progressive Alliance of Social Democrats (S&D), followed by the Group of Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE). Each group appointed its coordinators, a bureau and a secretariat. Some Members do not belong to any political group and are known as non-attached Members.

MEPs are all part of standing committees to do the preparatory work for Parliament’s plenary sittings.

There are 20 parliamentary committees. A committee consists of between 24 and 76 MEPs, and has a chair, a bureau and a secretariat

The political make-up of the committees reflects that of the plenary assembly. The parliamentary committees meet once or twice a month in Brussels; their debates are held in public.

The committees draw up, amend and adopt legislative proposals and own-initiative reports; they consider Commission and Council proposals and, where necessary, draw up reports to be presented to the plenary assembly.

Parliament can also set up sub-committees and special temporary committees to deal with specific issues, and is empowered to create formal committees of inquiry under its supervisory remit to investigate allegations of maladmistration of EU law.

The committee chairs coordinate the work of the committees in the Conference of Committee Chairs.

The Health and Environment (ENVI) committee is the second biggest committee, with 69 Members. It deals with human and veterinary health as well as subject related to the environment. However matters related to care, social, professional training and education, medicines or equity may be primarly debated, drafted and taken forward by other Committees, who will involve ENVI only when the first stages of the policy developments have taken place.

These are :

– IMCO: internal market and consumer protection

– ITRE, industry, research and industry

– EMPL: employment and social affairs

– INTA: international trade (it deals in particular with agreements with the USA, on opening market accesss, which could impact EU policies on tobacco control).

More information.


In September2014, the European Lung Foundation (ELF) and the European Respiratory Society (ERS) will launch the ‘Healthy Lungs for Life campaign’ to incorporate the next World Spirometry Day (WSD).

The objective of the campaign is to seek to reduce the number of people suffering from respiratory disease by raising awareness and knowledge of lung conditions and ways to prevent lung damage. It will roll over several years and in 2014, Healthy Lungs for Life, one of the largest ever lung health campaigns will aim to increase knowledge of the impact of poor air quality (‘Breathe clean air’) on lung health and raise awareness of the actions that everyone can take to protect their own lungs from indoor and outdoor air pollution.

The message will be spread about the importance of air quality for lung health to scientists, healthcare professionals, policy makers, patients and members of the public through events during the ERS Congress in Munich, and across the globe via WSD. The Euroepan COPD Coalition will be associated to the events in Brussels.

More information and how to participate

In March 2014, the European Commission launched a consultation  the preliminary opinion on the “Definition of a frame of reference in relation to primary care with a special emphasis on financing systems and referral systems”,  as drafted by a group of experts appointed by the Directorate General for Health (DG SANCO)  (photo credit: European Commission)

The consultation consisted of an online text each line was numbered and stakeholders were invited to comment on their choice of lines, under each chapter.

The European COPD coalition in its response highlighted the role of primary care professionals in the diagnosis of respiratory diseases, in particular, COPD, in the continuum of care and, as central points of contact for patients.

Herewith are the comments and suggestions submitted electronically. For a better understanding, the lines commented are mentioned in italic.