European Union Policies on Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases


The EULAR repository of European Union policies, declarations and documents around the topic on Rheumatic Musculoskeletal Diseases (RMDs)

The EULAR Charter for Work - integrating people with rheumatic conditions in work life.

People affected by rheumatic conditions/arthritis and other musculoskeletal diseases want to choose freely their way of integration into working life. EULAR supports projects aiming at facilitating access or return to work. In early 2009 the EULAR Charter for Work was launched, raising awareness of the needs of people with chronic conditions at the work place. The charter calls for a real dialogue with employers, insurers and policy makers to shape proper conditions for work ability. New work organisation models are promoted as a way of getting more people who want to work (back) into work.

EULAR Charter for Work Download pdf 

European year 2012 coalition on active ageing and solidarity between generations (EY2012)

2012 was the European year of active ageing and solidarity between generations. On this occasion, AGE Platform Europe, a major organisation, representing the interest of elder people in Europe, launched a coalition on the European year. The aim of the coalition is to promote a vision of a society for all ages.

Throughout the year various activities took place to support creating an age-friendly Europe. EULAR was part of the coalition to ensure that the interests of the RMD community are adequately represented.

EY2012 Official website

European disability legislation

Disability policies are essentially a responsibility of the EU Member States. However, Community policies and actions impact in many ways on the situation of disabled people. In addition, Article 13 of the EC Treaty provides the legal basis for EU measures to combat discrimination based on disability.

In recent years, the European Union has adopted several directives to fight discrimination in day-to-day life. This work will continue over the coming years. EULAR as the representative organisation for a wide range of disabling conditions works in partnership with European and international organisations to improve the life of millions of people with these conditions. Getting better disability legislation at European and national level is one of EULAR's main objectives.

In October 2011 EULAR, for the first time, was invited to join a European Commission High Level Group on Disability meeting. EULAR presented on the disabling effects of RMDs and the burden this presents on European healthcare systems and individuals. Based on the expertise developed in the RMD community, EULAR also presented a number of recommendations to EU and national policy makers.

EULAR has also organised a meeting of the European Parliament Interest Group on RMDs to discuss the implementation of the EU Disability Strategy 2010-2020 and the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disability.

Report of the EP Interest Group on RMDs Download pdf

European Commission: People with disabilities Official website

EU-OSHA “Healthy workplaces campaign 2012-2013: working together for risk prevention”

The EU Agency for Health and Safety at Work (EU-OSHA) is the EU agency in charge promoting safer, healthier, and more productive working place. It does so by organising campaigns, developing tools for risk prevention in the workplace, partnering governments, employers and workers organisations, and by doing research. In 2012-2013, EU-OSHA ran the campaign “Working together for risk prevention”, which aimed to “help national authorities, companies, organisations, managers, workers and their representatives and other stakeholders to work together to enhance health and safety in the workplace”. EULAR joined the campaign as a regular member, organising a workshop during one of the Conference “Preventing chronic diseases for a healthier Europe”, by inviting EU-OSHA representatives to other events, and by circulating the campaign materials in workshops and conferences organised by EULAR.

Healthy workplaces campaign Official website

Public Affairs

EULAR and Europe

EU actions are important in promoting the economic and social inclusion of people with disabilities. Read more

EULAR RheumaMap
A Research Roadmap to transform the lives of  people with Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases. Read more

Areas of Interest
Employment, social affairs, disability, public health and research. Read more

Activities and events
With the aim to bring together policy makers, the RMD community and other key stakeholders to discuss on specific topics of issues affecting people with RMD (and other chronic conditions), EULAR organises a number of activities and events each year. Read more

EULAR Policy statements and reports

As part of its advocacy activities, EULAR produces and adopts a number of documents and declarations that are used to express EULAR’s position and/or demands on different policy issues. Read more