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Alzheimer Europe writes to Vice-President and Commissioner

Tuesday 14 July 2020

Alzheimer Europe has written to the EU’s Vice-President for Democracy and Demography, Dubravka Šuica, and the Health Commissioner, Stella Kyriakides. In the letters, Alzheimer Europe asks for dementia to be prioritised within EU policies, including the EU4Health programme, as well as workstreams on ageing and demographics. The letters explain that the progressive nature of dementia, coupled with the lack of a cure, no disease modifying treatment and a limited number of symptom-modifying drugs available, means that there is an imperative for healthcare systems and, more broadly, the societies and communities in which people with dementia live, to prepare and develop policy responses which provide support from the point of diagnosis through to the end of life. In addition, Alzheimer Europe highlighted that the Dementia in Europe Yearbook 2019 had demonstrated the number of people living within the EU would almost double to 14 million people by 2050, primarily as a result of ageing demographics.

Alzheimer Europe urged Commissioner Kyriakides to use her position, including during the trilogue negotiations, to accept amendments which will allow the EU4Health programme to provide a basis for the EU to support meaningful work to improve the lives of people with dementia, their families and carers across Europe. In the letter to Vice-President Šuica, Alzheimer Europe urged her to acknowledge and identify dementia as a priority which must be addressed, both by the EU and Member States, across the domains of health, social policy and research, and as part of the EU’s Green Paper on Ageing (which is currently under development).  Furthermore, the letter sets out the need for the EU4Health Programme to align with the Report on the Impact of Demographic Change and the Green Paper on Ageing, to ensure that the challenges the healthcare systems will face as a result of ageing demographics is addressed by EU and national health policies. Alzheimer Europe has also written to the Rapporteur and shadow-Rapporteurs of the EU4Health programme, also asking them to prioritise dementia within the EU4Health programme.

UPDATE: Alzheimer Europe received a joint response from the Dubravka Šuica and Stella Kyriakides. Read more, here.