New MEP Interest Group on AMR launched today will push for more European cooperation to stop antimicrobial resistance
Brussels, 19 February 2020. “Antimicrobial resistance is one of the top ten global public health threats we currently face. Taking effective action to tackle it is one of the Commission’s key priorities in the area of health, and I am looking forward to working closely with the European Parliament to this effect in the coming years. Together we can form a strong alliance in the fight against antimicrobial resistance and bring change.” said European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, in her opening address at the launch of the MEP Interest Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) at the European Parliament in Brussels today.
The group, composed of fifteen MEPs from across the political spectrum, is the only AMR-dedicated group in the European Parliament. A sign, that the European Parliament can -and is ready to- play a key role in the fight against AMR, expanding the EU’s global leadership and protecting Europeans.
Driven by a comprehensive strategic work programme guiding its activities for the parliamentary term 2019-2024, the MEPs fight AMR Group champions a cohesive and ambitious One Health approach addressing human, animal and environmental health.
“It is a great honour for me to chair this newly-established Interest Group. Our antibiotics are no longer working, and AMR is threatening modern medicine as we know it. To make things worse, our food system’s safety is also at risk. I will use my mandate at the European Parliament to ensure AMR stays high on the agenda. We are ready to work hand-in-hand with the European Commission, the Member States, international organisations, civil society and all stakeholders to fight this threat.” said Chair of the Interest Group MEP Sarah Wiener (Greens/EFA, Austria).
Raising awareness on the real burden of the AMR threat and working towards urgent and concrete action, including EU binding measures, financial support to Member States and affordable, quality innovation, are at the core of the Group’s agenda.
Vice-Chair MEP Nicolae Ştefănuță (Renew Europe, Romania) called for urgent action to be taken to support Member States efforts: “This fight against Antimicrobial Resistance is about people and how to protect their lives. We need to mobilise resources and to promote dedicated EU funds to support the development and implementation of One Health National Action Plans”.
“More efforts must be made to promote the prudent use of antimicrobials and tackle inappropriate antibiotic prescribing”, said Vice-Chair MEP Tiemo Wölken (S&D, Germany). He added that “We must find new ways to address the obvious market failure in investing in research and development of new antibiotics. At the same time, we cannot forget to keep the public interest at the heart of innovation, and ensure affordable, accessible, quality antibiotics for all.”
The event brought together key players working on AMR, including representatives of the European Commission, the UN Tripartite organisations collaborating on AMR (FAO/OIE/WHO), Member States’ representatives, members of the AMR Stakeholder Network and other stakeholders. Musician and patient Silviu Ciocanelli, shared a captivating account of the reality of living with AMR, calling for urgent measures to be taken to protect Europeans NOW.
More Members of the European Parliament are invited to join the AMR Champions of the Interest Group. The next initiative of the Interest Group will take place in the Autumn around the European Antibiotic Awareness Day.
AMR: SETTING THE AGENDA FOR CHANGE
Official Launch of the MEP Interest Group on AMR