The EU-Policy working group aims to highlight the role of medicinal chemistry and chemical biology as key players for addressing global health issues, as well as to position the EFMC as an expert organisation in the discipline.
At the Basel Workshop in February 2019, we sought to pinpoint strategic mechanisms for influencing EU Policy. Two specific goals were identified:
To achieve these goals in the short term a paper/executive summary will be written based upon two previous EU level workshops organized by EFMC together with EuChemS: a STOA initiative on “Solving Antibiotic Resistance” and a workshop on “Cause and Cure for Parkinson’s Disease” were organized in 2015 and 2018, respectively. Using this executive summary, contacts at the EU Parliament, Commission and/or Council will be approached in order to establish robust, strategic relationships between the EFMC and these organisations. In the long term, the group will identify and define emerging topics within the discipline and organize focused meetings in the parliament. We will continue to interact not only with EuChemS but also with other key stakeholders in the Life Science area, e.g., EUFEPS. Consolidating influence over regional policies and national contact points via EFMC Council members will also be a focus. In addition, EU officers will be invited to participate at round table discussions related to research policy at EFMC conferences.
During the year, the EFMC EU Policy group has also worked with EUFEPS, EuChemS and other stakeholders to start a forum for the exchange of ideas and joint future activities at the European level.
EFMC represents a research community that plays an important role in society. By providing tools to better understand the biology of human diseases and developing new drugs, chemical biologists and medicinal chemists can address issues that represent a huge burden to patients, families and social welfare. In particular, there is an enormous need for improved treatments of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease.
Our recent workshop in Brussels “Parkinson’s disease: understanding the causes to find a cure” was co-organized with EuChemS, alongside Members of the European Parliament, and representatives from the European Commission and the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA). The workshop aimed to increase awareness of both patients and researchers needs, as well as review the latest understanding of the causes of the disease. Further information on this event is available in the press release, and all presentations can be viewed at https://www.euchems.eu/parkinsons-disease-causes-and-cures-workshop/
By participating in such activities, EFMC both supports the cause of patients and helps increase awareness of the need for research funding, and for policies facilitating the task of our scientific community to address these complex issues. Please take advantage of this event to share our efforts within our network, and let people know that EFMC really cares.