European Parliament - Written Question on the dismantling of the Commission Expert Group on Dementia

Deirdre Clune, MEP, member of the European Alzheimer’s Alliance has submitted a written question to the Commissioner to address the question of why the Expert Group on Dementia was disbanded. This happened at the same time as the disbandment of the expert groups on cancer, rare diseases and mental health. Instead of these specific disease groups the Commission has created a new group called the Steering Group on Prevention and Promotion.

Dementia is a major public health issue. By 2060, 28% of the population will be aged over 65 and 12% aged over 80. In 2015, dementia affected some 10.5 million citizens aged between 30 and 95+ years of age in Europe. This number is estimated to increase to 13.42 million people by 2030. Dementia accounts for 11.9% of the years lived with disability due to a non-communicable disease. There is still no cure for dementia.

1. With regard to these figures and the growing public health threat of dementia, why has the Commission dismantled the Government Expert Group on Dementia, which included the participation of Member States and civil society and enabled them to go back to their respective national and European authorities to share expertise and good practice?

2. How does the Commission now intend to encourage Member States to share expertise and good practice and to adopt national strategies regarding Alzheimer’s?

3. How is the Commission now taking stock of the various recommendations that EU Presidencies have made on dementia and the findings of research programmes such as the Joint Action on Alzheimer Cooperation Valuation in Europe (ALCOVE) and the 2nd EU Joint Action on Dementia?