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Claude Moraes (United Kingdom)

MEPs speak out on dementia

Claude Moraes talks to Alzheimer Europe about his priorities for the European elections (May 2009)

In the run up to the elections, Alzheimer Europe asked Members of the European Parliament the following questions:

1. As the mandate of this European Parliament draws to a close, we would be very interested in hearing which you consider to be the key accomplishments of this Parliament which had a direct impact on people with Alzheimer’s disease and their carers?

2. After the European Parliament elections in June, which are the main policy initiatives that will be important for people with dementia and their carers?

3. If you are re-elected, do you have any personal priorities that would be of particular interest to people with dementia and their carers?

Claude Moraes

Claude Moraes: I appreciate the chance to highlight the work the European Parliament has done to help people with Alzheimer's disease as well as their carers.

However, I also recognise that Alzheimer's disease must remain a key health priority in the European Union, and that much work still needs to be done to improve care and support for those affected by the disease.

I am pleased that the gravity of Alzheimer's disease is now recognised throughout Europe and that research carried out into the disease has developed hugely over the last few years.

  • The Community Public Health Programme, adopted by the Parliament and Council, supported and provided funds for the European Collaboration on Dementia to bring together Alzheimer's organisations across Europe.
  • Also, funding from the 5th, 6th and 7th framework programmes has helped drastically improve research into Alzheimer's disease and the ERA-NET is helping to promote cooperation in research across national bodies responsible for research into Alzheimer's disease in member states.
  • Furthermore, the 2008 conference held in Paris entitled 'The fight against Alzheimer's and related diseases' was yet another chance to discuss and bring focus to the issue.

MEPs continue to use their position in Parliament to question the Commission and Council on progress made in the field to ensure that the issue remains a priority.

Although research has improved greatly action is now needed to bring into effect policy that improves the lives of sufferers and carers based on the recommendations of this continuing research. This is why the recent declaration from the European Parliament calling on the Council, Commission and Member States to develop a European action plan is crucial. Such an action plan will be vital to ensure improvements in care and support for sufferers and their carers throughout Europe.

Alzheimer's disease was included as a priority initiative in the Commission's Legislative and Work Programme for 2009 and we can therefore be hopeful that progress will continue to be made throughout 2009 and under the Czech and Swedish presidencies.

If re-elected in June, I would hope to see rapid progress made on such an action plan in order to allow Alzheimer's sufferers to age with dignity and be cared for to the highest standards. Furthermore, I would like to see more support for the carers whose jobs and employment rights are often affected by the time they spend caring for people with Alzheimer's disease.



Last Updated: Wednesday 14 October 2009