“The two days were well organized, with engaging workshops. It was good to have new motivated members join and share their views alongside long-term historic EFA members.”

In 2022, EFA focused on community building. We ran a Membership Survey to learn about the changes in our network and improve synergies and engagement. The results served to guide discussions on how to improve the logistical aspects of network coordination as well as brainstorm priorities for projects and advocacy.

EFA’s new Members

In 2022, EFA welcomed three new members to our vast network of national patient associations. The AGM voted to approve full EFA membership for COPD Patients' Society of Turkey (KOAH Hastalari Derneǧi). The organization is a non-governmental organization that has been founded by the carers of COPD patients and volunteers with the aim of providing cooperation among its members, enlighten the public regarding COPD diagnosis and treatment and increase the quality of life of the patients. They help their community by spreading efforts in communicating knowledge and providing needed contributions related to all issues.

LOGO COPD Patients Society of Turkey

The AGM also welcomed Icelandic Lung Association (Samtök lungnasjúklinga - SLS). The organisation was established in 1992 by lung patients and people interested in the well-being of lung patients and prevention. Their goal is to work on welfare and in the interests of lung patients by promoting education and research on lung disease, strengthen preventive work on any kind and active counselling and dissemination of information for lung patients especially regarding their right.

LOGO Icelandic Lung Association

Slovak Association of Allergic and Asthmatic Patients (Slovenská asociácia alergologických a astmatických pacientov - SAAAP) was also approved as full membership. The organization is a non-political, voluntary, charitable, humanitarian, independent association of citizens and legal entities operating in the territory of the Slovak Republic. SAAAP aims to actively support citizens and patients suffering from various types and forms of allergy.

LOGO Slovak Association of Allergic and Asthmatic Patients SAAAP

In addition, two EFA Members Allergy and Me (Serbia) and Društvo AD (Slovenia), transitioned from Trial to Full Members in 2022.

In addition to the three new members, we established promising relationships with several other unaffiliated but potential members from Slovakia, Spain, Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina. We also developed a recruitment strategy based on a mapping of the status of patient organisations in the WHO European region.

Members Re-Union

In May, EFA held a Member Re-Union in Iceland, gathering 21 EFA associations. It was the first time EFA members met in person after the two years of pandemic. The event featured best practice pitching, working groups, educational sessions on the impact of climate change and the European Health Data Space as well as further brainstorming on how to action the takeaways from the AGM. EFA was honored to collaborate with EFA Board Secretary Fríða Þórðardóttir from Asthma and Allergy Society of Iceland, who welcomed all of us in Reykjavík and hosting the first face-to-face Members Re-union after the hard years of COVID19. On behalf of all EFA Membership we thank you for your hospitality and unforgettable Icelandic experience


EFA working groups

EFA working groups played a critical role in maintaining network communication, building advocacy strategies and receiving feedback on EFA project deliverables including reports, policy recommendations, and more.

Throughout the year, EFA organised 11 working group meetings: Allergy and Asthma, COPD, Atopic Eczema, Food Allergy, Prevention and Patient Education Working Groups gathering 78 participants. Among these were workshops on digital health and the EU Healthier Together-NCD Initiative. Overall, the majority of Members were either ‘Very Satisfied’ or ‘Satisfied’ with their participation in EFA working groups, stating that they found them ‘Extremely’ or ‘Very Useful’ and learned ‘A lot’ or a ‘Great Deal’ from both EFA and their fellow members.