As part of its plan to raise the profile of men’s health with European Institutions, the EMHF with the support of John Bowis MEP launched on Jan 21 a call for action to all Members of the European Parliament. (Download full text of the Call For Action here.)
EMHF called on MEPs to give greater consideration to men’s health in the parliamentary agenda, to earmark resources for prevention and earlier diagnosis, to pay particular attention to impact on men’s health of changing economic conditions in Eastern Europe and to request the release EU research funds to examine the causes of gender-related health inequalities.
This initiative comes after the launch in July 2003 of EMHF’s Report on the state of men’s across 17 European countries. The event was attended by several MEPs and largely contributed to put men’s health on the map.
In November 2003, EMHF participated in a parliamentary debate about a proposal from the Commission to develop cancer screening programmes in Member States. As a result, amendments 13 and 33 (see here) were voted, stressing the need to improve and monitor men’s take-up of cancer screens. It complemented other recommendations already introduced concerning colorectal, cervical and breast cancers.
Last December, the chairman of the Health and Environment Committee was speaking of the need for non-governmental organisations to become more involved in the parliamentary life. In January, it is expected that the Call for Action will contribute to increasing EMHF’s presence at the EP and to keeping gender-related health issues present in the minds of MEPs as the electoral campaign is about to start. Next, EMHF will be inviting a select group of parliamentarians to support its work and to officially endorse the need for men’s health improvement in Europe.