Belgian EU Presidency conference on rheumatic and
Brussels, 19-20 October 2010
In 2010, EULAR was invited to co-organise the EU Presidency conference on rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases, together the Belgian EU Presidency. The aim of the event was to develop and agree upon a number of key policy recommendations for improving the prevention and management of RMDs. The event took place on 19 October and the conclusions and recommendations were presented at the EU Ministerial conference that was held the following day. Representatives of EU bodies and Member States, together with experts from academia, scientific societies, patient organisations and other key stakeholders participated in the discussions.
Given the enormous burden of RMDs and their implications for different policy areas, the issues discussed during the event were expected to serve as an example of challenges faced by most chronic conditions. In this sense, the policy recommendations adopted at the end of the EU Presidency conference fed into the Council Conclusions on “Innovative approaches for chronic diseases in public health and healthcare systems” that the EU Council adopted in December 2010.
The recommendations embraced six areas of intervention: rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases as a priority on health policy agendas; rights of patients to quality healthcare and to full inclusion in economic and social life; early prevention and referral; evidence-based treatment and standards of care; patient involvement in the design, implementation and evaluation of healthcare services; and increased research funding.
Conference recommendations, which were thereafter referred as the EULAR Brussels Declaration, culminated in the call for a EU Strategy on RMDs and national action plans.