On 13 June, representatives from EFA (European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients' Associations) and the European Respiratory Society (ERS), travelled to Luxembourg on behalf of the European Lung Health Group (ELHG) to meet with the European Commission Directorate-Generals of Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), and the Communications, Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT) to discuss support for lung health, The Breathe Vision.


The European Lung Health Group representatives meet the representatives of DG SANTE, European Commission in Luxembourg

The meetings were set to discuss opportunities for EU action to improve lung health, in the context of the ELHG’s #KeepBreathing campaign, and the efforts to reduce fragmentation of knowledge and policies around lung health at the European level.  

#KeepBreathing: lung health promotion, and respiratory disease prevention in all policies

During the meeting with DG SANTE, the ELHG had the opportunity to exchange with representatives from DG SANTE’s B.1 Cancer, Health in all Policies Unit and DG SANTE B.4 Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Unit.

The ELHG presented its #KeepBreathing: A Vision for EU action on Lung Health 2024-2029, and discussed short and medium term challenges and solutions ahead to improve lung health policies at European level. The group referred to the shy progress made so far since the Council conclusions on prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of  on chronic respiratory diseases in children in 2011.

During the meeting with the DG SANTE, discussions revolved around the EU Healthier Together Initiative as well as the EU4Health Programme 2021-2027, where chronic respiratory diseases have been identified as a priority strand for EU action. DG SANTE emphasised the importance of comprehensive approach to health and collaboration within the community of stakeholders, such as the ELHG initiative, for better health outcomes. 

In February 2024, the ELHG held a launch event of the #KeepBreathing campaign with supporting members of the European Parliament. The MEPs have voiced their concern over the recent EU Commission decision to divert €1bn from the EU4Health programme and called for EU action on lung health.

Digitalisation in strengthening health systems for better lung health 

The ELHG also met in Luxembourg with DG CONNECT H.3 eHealth, Well-Being and Aging Unit at the European Commission, to discuss opportunities for digitalisation in strengthening health systems, and the potential of integrating digital technology for better respiratory disease self-management and disease prevention.

During the meeting, DG CONNECT presented how they support innovative digital health solutions and services that foster the delivery of high quality and efficient digital health and care services and products, and enable the empowerment of citizens in managing their own health. The ELHG presented its advocacy on digital health, such as its work on the European Health Data Space (EHDS), and discussions outlined the potential of digitalisation for disease prevention, chronic care and healthier aging in the context of lung health. 

The ELHG will continue its advocacy for better lung health across Europe and its activities under the #KeepBreathing multistakeholder campaign with the aim to bring lung health at the forefront of EU policy discussions.

Learn more about the ELHG and its #KeepBreathing campaign here.

Read the ELHG publication #KeepBreathing: A vision for EU action on lung health 2024-2029 and the MEP Lung Health Group Event report here.