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European Written Declaration on Epilepsy is adopted by the European Parliament

28 Oct 2011

The Written Declaration on Epilepsy (22-2011) has been passed by the European Parliament.

The Declaration was submitted by the ‘European Advocates for Epilepsy’ and ‘Epilepsy Advocacy Europe’. This is a joint task force of the International League Against Epilepsy  and the International Bureau for Epilepsy.

Written Declarations are a tool used by the European Parliament to launch a debate, at European Union level, on a chosen subject. In order to be passed, a declaration must be signed by the majority of Members of the European Parliament (at least 369 MEPs). The declaration on epilepsy received 459 signatures, the highest number for a written declaration in this parliamentary term.

The declaration calls on the European Commission and European Council to:

  • encourage research and innovation in the area of prevention and early diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy;
  • prioritise epilepsy as a major disease that imposes a significant burden across Europe;
  • take initiatives to encourage Member States to ensure equal quality of life, including in education, employment, transport and public healthcare, for people with epilepsy, for example by stimulating the exchange of best practice;
  • encourage effective health impact assessments on all major EU and national policies.

You can find out more about what the Declaration says at http://www.ibe-epilepsy.org/downloads/EN.pdf

Pete Scott, Epilepsy Action’s Campaigns and Policy officer, went to Strasbourg in July as part of an International Bureau for Epilepsy delegation. There he meet with British MEPs and asked them to sign the Declaration.

Of the UK MEPs, 64 per cent signed to support the Declaration. You can read the full list of supporting UK MEPs by clicking here. (doc attached).

First signatory to the declaration, Irish MEP Mr Gay Mitchell said: “Last February, we launched the first ever European Epilepsy Day. Seven months later, we successfully garnered the support of a large number of MEPs to pass this Declaration, which I have no doubt will raise awareness for epilepsy in Europe and improve prevention, care and quality of life of people with epilepsy. This Declaration is a step in the right direction for people with epilepsy, as well as their close family members.”

In Europe there are six million people living with epilepsy, with 300,000 cases diagnosed each year. Up to 40 per cent of people with epilepsy still do not receive appropriate treatment and care yet, with appropriate treatment, up to 70 per cent of people with epilepsy could be seizure-free.

UK MEPs who signed the European Declaration on Epilepsy (22-2011)

MEP

Political group

Atkins, Robert (Sir)

ECR

Bearder, Catherine

ALDE

Bowles, Sharon

ALDE

Bufton, John

EFD

Cashman, Michael

S&D

Davies, Chris

ALDE

de Brún, Bairbre

GUE/NLG

Deva, Nirj

ECR

Dodds, Diane

NI

Elles, James

ECR

Evans, Jill

Verts/ALE

Ford, Vicky

ECR

Griffin, Nick

NI

Hall, Fiona

ALDE

Harbour, Malcolm

ECR

Honeyball, Mary

S&D

Howitt, Richard

S&D

Hudghton, Ian

Verts/ALE

Karim, Sajjad

ECR

Kirkhope, Timothy

ECR

Lambert, Jean

Verts/ALE

Ludford, Sarah (Baroness)

ALDE

Lynne, Elizabeth

ALDE

Lyon, George

ALDE

Martin, David

S&D

McAvan, Linda

S&D

McCarthy, Arlene

S&D

McMillan-Scott, Edward

ALDE

Moraes, Claude

S&D

Nattrass, Mike

EFD

Newton Dunn, Bill

ALDE

Nicholson, James

ECR

Skinner, Peter

S&D

Simpson, Brian

S&D

Sinclaire, Nicole

NI

Smith, Alyn

Verts/ALE

Stevenson, Struan

ECR

Stihler, Catherine

S&D

Sturdy, Robert

ECR

Tannock, Charles

ECR

Taylor, Keith

Verts/ALE

Van Orden, Geoffrey

ECR

Vaughan, Derek

S&D

Watson, Graham

ALDE

Yannakoudakis, Marina

ECR

Willmott, Glenis

S&D

Key

  • S&D: Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
  • ECR: European Conservatives and Reformists Group
  • ALDE: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
  • Verts/ALE: The Greens–European Free Alliance
  • NI: Non-Inscrits
  • EFD: Europe of Freedom and Democracy
  • GUE/NLG: European United Left–Nordic Green Left

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