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European Declaration on Epilepsy needs YOU


European Union Written Declaration on Epilepsy

A Written Declaration on Epilepsy has been submitted to the European Parliament by the recently created European Advocates for Epilepsy Group within the European Parliament on behalf of the International Bureau for Epilepsy and the International League Against Epilepsy.     

The Written Declaration was submitted by Mr Gay Mitchell MEP, President of the European Advocates for Epilepsy Group, and co-signed by four other MEPs: Mr Nirj Deva (UK), Mrs Marian Harkin (Ireland), Mr Peter Skinner (UK) and Mrs Angelika Werthmann (Austria) representing the five different parties in European Parliament. Signatories

We now have until 15th September to encourage a minimum of 369 MEPs to sign the declaration in order to have it adopted. And this is where we need your help.

Declaration in different languages

English Spanish   Bulgarian Czech
Danish Dutch Estonian Finnish French
German Greek Hungarian Italian Latvian
Lithuanian Maltese Polish Portuguese Romanian
Slovakian Slovenian Swedish    

Written declarations are printed, translated and posted in a register. The register is public and is kept outside the entrance to the Chambers in Strasbourg and Brussels during plenary sessions. Declarations are also published on Parliament’s website.

The Written Declaration on Epilepsy will be ready for signing ahead of the May plenary session in Strasbourg. Thereafter MEPs will be able to sign it during the plenary sessions in Strasbourg in June, July and September and during the June mini session in Brussels. The dates of these sessions, which are the only times during which MEPs may sign, are as follows:

  • Strasbourg: 9th – 12th May
  • Strasbourg: 6th – 9th June
  • Brussels: 22nd – 23rd June
  • Strasbourg: 4th – 7th July
  • Strasbourg: 12th – 15th September

We will only have one chance to have the declaration carried. If fewer than 369 MEPs have signed the declaration by 15th September, it will not be adopted.

If approved, the Written Declaration on Epilepsy will be a very valuable document to use at local and European level, for example, in

  • advocating for increased research funding;
  • advocating for improved healthcare facilities and services provision for people with epilepsy;
  • building other significant initiatives at European level.

In addition, MEPs can use written declarations to launch or relaunch initiatives that come within the EU’s remit.

THE PLAN OF ACTION – This is where we need your contribution
The most important people in convincing MEPs to sign the declaration are groups and individuals at national level based in European Union countries – after all, you are the people who voted them into office! The involvement of national organisations and individuals is absolutely vital in ensuring that we achieve our goal. Equally important is a united and joint effort between IBE and ILAE member associations.

  • We would urge you to work together with your ILAE or IBE counterpart to write together to all MEPs in your country asking them to sign the declaration. Joint messages from medical and lay groups are viewed extremely favourably by MEPs.
  • We would ask you to send personal messages to MEPs and to encourage your members to do likewise. Every message to an MEP will be a further cog in the wheel to move our effort forward!
  • If you use Twitter – why not tweet about the written declaration? Many MEPs use Twitter and other social networks. It’s easy to find their websites simply by Googling their name.

The ILAE/IBE Epilepsy Advocacy Europe task force is also writing to all MEPs seeking their signatures. In all our communications with MEPs we will be using the slogan Stand Up for Epilepsy! You may like to translate this to use in your messages also.

If you would like to write to MEPs in your country, please contact us ibedublin@eircom.net for a listing of MEPs in your country. We can also provide you with a letter template that you might find useful.

Below you will find the text of the Declaration in each of the official EU languages.

There is no doubt that we are setting ourselves a major challenge but the rewards will more than justify the task. We hope that you also agree and that you will work with us to ensure that our goal is reached.

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