Brussels, 3rd July 2019
Our organisations (BEUC, EHN, EPHA, CPME, COFACE, World Obesity, and IBFAN) have, with regret, taken the decision to leave the European Platform for Diet, Physical Activity and Health (hereafter ‘the Platform’).
One in two adults in Europe is now overweight or obese. Poor diets and a lack of physical activity are contributing significantly to this threat to the population’s health and to the growing health burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). It is increasingly clear to our organisations that the Platform, as it is currently constructed, is not fit for purpose and cannot therefore adequately contribute to reverse this tide.
Indeed, the continual decrease in resources, time and attention afforded to the Platform over the years point to an acknowledgement of the limited impact that this forum, and the voluntary approach it embodies, can have.
In April our organisations wrote to DG SANTE to call for an urgent, profound and meaningful overhaul to improve the Platform’s outcomes.
In order to further discuss these important issues and the potential for a transformed Platform we requested a meeting with the Commission services before the end of this legislature. Unfortunately, the Commission’s response did not acknowledge this request for constructive dialogue. This is especially disappointing given that the Commission itself is currently reviewing and considering the future of the Platform.
We do not at this time consider that the continued participation of our civil society organisations in the Platform is a productive use of our resources. We would however strongly underline the right and importance for continued structured dialogue with organisations representing the voices of consumers, public health NGOs and medical associations in any discussions on future EU actions on the obesity and NCD crisis facing Europe.
We look forward to engaging constructively with the Commission and Member States during the next legislature to ensure that any such response is impactful in improving the health of Europe’s citizens.
European Heart Network (EHN)
European Public Health Alliance (EPHA)
Director of Policy
COFACE Families Europe
Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME)
Baby Milk Action
IBFAN Global Advocacy