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EPSCO Council adopts Luxembourg EU Presidency conclusions, with an emphasis on supporting people with dementia

Monday 07 December 2015

Yesterday, 7 December, the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) Council met in Brussels, to discuss the Conclusions of the Luxembourg EU Presidency, which draws to a close on 31 December.

The Council adopted conclusions on a number of health-related items, including conclusions on "Supporting people living with dementia”, which call on all Member States to address dementia as a priority, to develop national strategies or actions plans, and to strengthen the collaboration between European countries.

There is particular emphasis on the need to uphold the human rights of people living with dementia, on dementia as a cause of disability, on the need to promote healthy lifestyles – especially where brain health is concerned – to reduce the risk of dementia, but also on the importance of recognising that people can live well with dementia.

"Dementia is a real socio-economic challenge that puts not only patients and their families, but also the viability of our health systems to a serious test. That is the reason why we addressed dementia as a societal phenomenon that requires multisectoral responses", said Luxembourg’s Minister for Equal Opportunities and Health, Lydia Mutsch (pictured).

The Council specifically invites Member States and The Commission to:

  • Recognise that continued collaboration across sectors among Member States and at EU level will allow for a valuable contribution to improve the support of people living with dementia.
  • Recognise the benefits of the empowerment of people living with dementia and encourage their inclusion in decision-making processes.
  • Support a gender-sensitive, individual-and research based approach in the elaboration of strategies, plans and programmes on dementia.
  • Recognise the important role of families and caregivers.
  • Emphasise the work of non-governmental organisations and voluntary work in the field of dementia aiming to contribute effectively to national strategies, action plans or programmes.

Some important initiatives at EU level, mentioned by the Council in its conclusions are:

  • The Joint Programming Initiative on Neurodegenerative Diseases (JPND).
  • The 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7).
  • The new EU Framework for Research and Innovation – Horizon 2020.
  • The Declaration of G8 Health Ministers on Dementia, adopted on 11 December 2013 at the G8 Summit, to foster innovation to identify a cure or a disease-modifying therapy for dementia by 2025.
  • The Italian Presidency Conference “Dementia in Europe: a challenge for our common future”, held in Rome on 14 November 2014.
  • The Call for Action signed by participants at the first WHO Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia in Geneva on 17 March 2015.
  • The discussion at the informal meeting of EU Health Ministers on 24 September 2015 on fostering development and implementation of national strategies, action plans or programmes on dementia.
  • The 2nd Joint Action on Dementia, to be launched in 2016.
  • The Governmental Expert Group on Dementia
  • The European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP AHA).
  • The ALCOVE Joint Action.

Some key reports mentioned in the Conclusions are:

  • 1st report of the World Health Organisation (WHO), “Dementia: A Public Health Priority”, 2012.
  • Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report of 13 March 2015 entitled “Better dementia care and a future cure require action today”.

The full Conclusions can be found here:

The EU Presidency mantle passes to The Netherlands on 1 January 2016. The official Netherlands Presidency website is