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The European Public Health Alliance today welcomed Commissioner Kyriakides’ commitment to support European health civil society to continue operating in their independent capacity, following a meeting to discuss funding for EU Health NGOs.

The proposed abandonment of the core funding for health NGOs in the new EU4Health programme risked undermining civil society’s independence & democratic legitimacy in the EU’s policy process; it risked denying Europeans their voice in EU policy making, and losing  decades of expertise that civil society has built up in the field of public health.

Time is short to react to this challenge as calls for action grants – far too restrictive for civil society to really deliver on its role – are already being published. This funding issue must be urgently addressed to avoid devastating consequences for European health NGOs and the health of Europeans in general. The NGOs ask from the Commission is not for more money, but to invest its funds in a way that secures the long-term future of the independent and flexible health civil society sector.

Commissioner Kyriakides’ decision to readdress the funding model in such a way to hopefully better meet the needs of EU health NGOs is a welcome recognition of the added value we bring through ideas, case-studies, and perspectives in consultations, projects, and debates; of the importance of our critical analyses of the potential and actual impact of EU policy proposals; and of our role in ensuring democratic legitimacy and accountability in EU health policy making.

Dr Milka Sokolović, EPHA’s Director General said: “Commissioner Kyriakides can be proud of her commitment to support EU health NGOs. The EU4Health programme and the European Health Union set out ambitious roadmaps to improve the health of all Europeans, so we can really build back better after the pandemic. Her pledge to do everything possible within the existing legal framework not only has a potential to enable EU health civil society to play their full role, but also to secure her lasting legacy as EU Health Commissioner.”

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