Last year, the European Commission announced that 2022 would be the European Year of Youth. This means that the next twelve months will focus on coordinating activities to help young people engage with the EU and to influence policy initiatives to centre young people’s needs. These activities will be realised with Member States, the European Parliament, regional and local authorities, youth organisations and individual young people involved. The European Allergy and Asthma Youth Parliament will be following the policy initiatives and activities for the year so that young patients with allergy and asthma are heard and listened to.

The European Allergy and Asthma Youth Parliament, which brings together young asthma and allergy patients, as well as young medical professionals from all over Europe, launched a promotional video to showcase their work and achievements.

Early this year, WHO Europe established the high-level Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development, an independent and interdisciplinary group of experts led by ex-Italy Prime Minister Mario Monti. The Commission’s goals were to review and rethink policy priorities in Europe around health while drawing on lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated health inequalities across Europe, including for those living with allergy, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). To understand how to address this and redefine policy priorities to reduce inequalities, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Europe has formed a Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development led by experts and leaders in health.

EFA held a Young Patient’s Ambassadors training as part of our Capacity Building Programme. This training was designed for young patient advocates to deepen their knowledge of the European Union, and to harness skills in public speaking to advocate for their unique needs as young people living with allergy and asthma.