Following recent meetings between members of the IBE/ILAE Epilepsy Alliance Europe Task Force and Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), we are delighted to report that nine MEPs have offered to join the European Advocates for Epilepsy group in the European Parliament. This brings membership of the group to 63 MEPs.
The group is led by Brian Hayes MEP, who acts as President of the group, with Nathalie Griesbeck MEP as Vice President.
Created in April 2011, the aim of the group is to improve the quality of life of all people with epilepsy, their families, care‐givers and healthcare providers through European Union (EU) policy.
Since 2011, the working group has hosted an annual day for epilepsy each February, in addition to accommodation regular workshops on epilepsy related topics. Meetings with the Health and Research Commissions have been facilitated and, during the Irish Presidency of the European Union in 2013, a conference on Epilepsy Research was held in Dublin. In June 2016, 20 members of the group added their signatures to a letter calling on the support of national members for an application for a European Reference Network on Rare and Complex Epilepsies.
The support of the European Advocates for Epilepsy working group is vital in all our efforts in Europe. It has opened doors and provided direction on avenues we can take in our work to make a difference in Europe.
The new MEP members are: Tanja Fajon (Slovenia), Eleonora Forenza (Italy), Karin Kadenbach (Austria), Ulrike Mueller (Germany), James Nicholson (UK), Annie Schriejer-Pierik (Netherlands), Igor Šoltes (Slovenia), Nils Torvalds (Finland) and Ivo Vajgl (Slovenia).