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Annual report 2006–2007 From Warsaw to Dublin

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General Assembly 2007

Dublin, Ireland, Sunday 23 September

10.00 – 12.00

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From Warsaw to Dublin

  1. Introduction

Over the last few years, IDF Europe has grown significantly as an organisation. This consistent growth can be seen in the scope and number of activities in which the organisation has engaged; but also in the subsequent growth in its reputation as a key stakeholder and valued partner in diabetes policy issues and in health policy in general. In order to sustain this growth as an organisation, IDF Europe should continue to take advantage of the increasing number of opportunities which are arising, at EU level as well as at the level of the Inter Parliamentary Assembly and of the World Health Organisation.

IDF Europe currently has two main streams of activity

1) EU Affairs and

2) National Association Development. There are also other important activities such as building partnerships with other key stakeholders, engagement with IDF Global and marketing/PR which will continue to be part of IDF Europe’s priorities.
While the level of IDF Europe activity has continued to grow, it should also be recognized that the resources, both human and financial, required to support this level of activity have not increased at the same rate. IDF Europe currently relies on a small number of dedicated board members, working voluntarily, to represent the organization in all of its activities and supported by a comparatively small professional office.

Apart from the Board’s activities on the level of the European Union, the World Health Organisation, the Council of Europe, the Corporate Partners and the sub-regions of the Federation, the work at national level has more direct impact on the lives of people with diabetes. For that reason the Board would like to thank the ten thousands of volunteers within the member associations for their continuous efforts to improve the lives of people with diabetes. Special thanks to the healthcare professionals who give so much spare time for the sake of diabetes and diabetes associations.

The General Assembly / Together We Are Stronger meeting (GA/TWAS) took place in Warsaw from 3 – 5 November 2006. The TWAS meetings were both plenary and in simultaneous workshops and were very inspiring.

In 2006 the Polish Diabetes Association celebrated its 25th Anniversary which was for them one of the reasons why they invited IDF Europe to come to Poland.

During the General Assembly in 2006 elections took place for several functions in the Board and the Nominating Committee. On top of that the General Assembly made the decision that the Board would consist of 10 persons in the period 2006-2007 and of 11 persons in the last two years of the triennium. This decision was made because of the continuous growing work load of the Board.
The main tasks are (summarized):

Tony O’Sullivan (President) spokesman, Corporate Partners, office, member Board of management and Executive Board IDF Global

Eberhard Standl (President Elect) deputy-president, contents meetings

Chris Delicata (Treasurer, Secretary) finances

Vida Augustiniene Central European Countries and Eastern European Countries

Michael Hall EU Affairs, National Diabetes Programmes

Helmut Henrichs EASD, EURADIA, editorial committees

Laszlo Madacsy Central European Countries, DEPAC

Marjatta Stenius-Kaukonen Council of Europe, Eastern European Countries, WHO

Alexander Mayorov Eastern European Countries

Soteris Yiangou EU Affairs

The way of working has been according to the following principles:

  • shared responsibility

  • according to individual or shared and approved portfolio’s

  • no exclusivity on the individual or shared portfolio’s for anyone.

The effectiveness and efficiency has been proven and a continuation of this working method will undoubtedly be the case.
The General Assembly and TWAS meeting in 2007 was held in Dublin, Ireland, on the invitation of the Diabetes Federation of Ireland. This Federation celebrated its 40th Anniversary. On behalf of IDF Europe: Congratulations with this achievement.

  1. EU and other European Affairs

EU Council Recommendation on Diabetes

One of IDF Europe’s main EU objectives remains to achieve an EU Council Recommendation on Diabetes. It is clear that recent developments in EU diabetes policy have resulted from the targeted EU and national advocacy conducted by IDF Europe over the last few years. Consequently, future action is only likely to be ensured if this level of advocacy is sustained.

The overall focus of activity was to monitor the effect of recent developments in the area of EU diabetes policy, specifically the adoption of EU Health Council Conclusions and follow up to the previous European Parliament, Commission and Council action on diabetes.

One of the actions was the meeting on 30 January 2007 on Children and Diabetes in the EU Parliament, followed by a Press Conference.

The Board had its first meeting in February 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal, upon invitation of the Portuguese Diabetes Association. Apart from the meeting itself visits to the Portuguese Parliament and with the Portuguese Minister of Health resulted in EU Health Conferences in July and September, which both included diabetes.

The Board of IDF Europe was represented during the German Presidency Conference on the Prevention for health, Nutrition and Physical Activity – a key to healthy living, in Badenweiler on the 27 and 28 of February 2007.

One other important activity for 2007, which is being carried out at this very moment, is an update of the Diabetes Policy Puzzle realized in 2005. This update will result in a clear picture of the various levels of diabetes treatment in the 27 member states of the European Union. The update will be launched early 2008.

Glucoforum Initiative

Launched with the help of an educational grant from Merck Santé in September 2004, the Glucoforum initiative was set up to raise awareness of the urgent need to prevent pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes and the potentially devastating consequences. Actions to date have included congress activity, health professional activities (Published paper “Pre-diabetes essential action: a European perspective” and Pre-diabetes Management Algorithm, Diabetes and Metabolism Dec 2005) and the creation of a dedicated Glucoforum website (

IDF Europe (with the Glucoforum initiative) is a partner in the EU Platform dor Diet, Physical Activity and health, and also a partner in the IMAGE project, one of the largest public health projects to be granted funding by the European Union in 2006. The IMAGE project commenced in May 2007 and will run for three years. Gluco-forum is the principle partner in the communications for the project. The Glucoforum Initiative is an IDF Europe initiative, made possible by grants from Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) and Bayer Healthcare.

European Parliament Diabetes Working Group

IDF Europe has been involved with the Parliament’s Diabetes Working Group since the early nineties, and has, as a result, built strong relationships with a number of key MEP’s, particularly John Bowis (UK), Dorette Corbey (the Netherlands) and Georgs Andrejevs (Latvia).

The working group has been re-established, a set of clear objectives for the group has been refined, and wide support from a number of core MEP’s has been achieved. IDF Europe encouraged MEP’s to organize at least one, if not two, meetings of the group during 2007, particularly around World Diabetes Day (November 2007).

The result was a meeting on 30th of January (on youth and diabetes), the 12th of June (on Diet and Physical Activity, time to prevent the diabetes epidemic), on the 12th of September (on migration and diabetes).

There will also be a celebration of World Diabetes Day on 13-15 November 2007 in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, with the involvement of children with diabetes from around 15 member states.

European Commission Funded Projects

IDF Europe has recently become more involved in funding applications to the European Commission for diabetes-related projects. The IMAGE project, which has recently been accepted by the Commission, is one example of a project where IDF will be contributing as a cooperative partner. With a generous gift of Diabetes UK some of the costs for this project could be funded.
EU Public Health Action Programme (2007-2013)

The EU’s agreement on its funding programme for health for the period 2007-2013 is still under discussion following an overall reduction of the budget and the deletion of the newly created strand for tackling the major diseases.

IDF Europe should continue to follow the discussions of both the Council and Parliament in order to ensure recognition of chronic diseases such as diabetes in the final text. Lobbying actions over the coming months will be focused on the Parliament as the revised text returns to MEP’s for the second reading. Partnerships with other disease advocacy groups e.g. EHN, ECPC will be crucial in demonstrating support for disease-specific action in the new Public Health Programme.

EU Platform on Diet, Physical Activity and Health

In August 2005, IDF Europe, through its Glucoforum initiative, was accepted as a partner on the EU Platform on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. Over the last year, IDF has been participating in the discussions of the Forum, including contributions to parallel initiatives being undertaken by partners such as the CIAA.

In the coming months, IDF Europe should hope to increase its participation and involvement in the Platform, making a valuable contribution to the discussions and raising the profile of chronic diseases in what has come to be a food-industry focused initiative.

High Level Pharmaceutical Forum (HLPF) – Information to Patients Working Group

The EU’s current discussions on the reform of the Information to Patients (ITP) regime across Member States provided IDF Europe with another good opportunity to raise the profile of diabetes. The HLPF’s Working Group’s consideration of a diabetes information model on diabetes, in particular, required the input of IDF Europe and will be monitored throughout the process in order to ensure that the voice of both patients and professionals is heard. IDF Europe is also a member of the EMEA/CHMP Working Group with Patient Organizations which is also contributing to these discussions.

The meetings of the ITP Working Group in December 2006 and the first half of 2007 were crucial in determining the outcome and possible recommendations of the High Level Forum (June 2007). IDF Europe provided input to this series of meetings.

European Medicines Evaluation Agency (EMEA)

IDF Europe’s invitation to become a member of the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medical Products (EMEA)’s Working Group with Patient Organizations is another opportunity to present the voice of people with diabetes. Supported by the European Commission, this cooperation enables IDF Europe to encourage decision makers to ensure that new medicines reach people with diabetes as quickly as possible, treating the disease and its complications, but also improving the quality of life of people with diabetes. IDF Europe will continue to participate in the discussions of EMEA.
Other Platforms

There are a number of other EU platforms in which IDF Europe will raise the profile of diabetes in Europe.

For example, the European Health Forum in Bad Gastein (3-6 October 2007) , is an excellent opportunity to meet with both national and EU policy makers, together with other key diabetes stakeholders in an informal networking environment. In view of the upcoming 10th Anniversary of Bad Gastein, IDF Europe, EURADIA, FEND and PCD Europe, have been able to organize part of the official programme to discuss the latest developments in EU diabetes policy. A meeting was held with the organizers, and IDF Europe managed to get a total of 6 hours (one session of four hours, and one session of two hours) in diabetes. This decision has been communicated to the Corporate partners and funding has been requested. The official announcement of the Health Forum has been publicized. IDF Europe is organizing these sessions in very good and close co-operation with Euradia, FEND and PCD – Europe.

  1. Council of Europe

In February 2006, IDF Europe was recognized by the Council of Europe as an International Non-Governmental Organization (INGO) which enables IDF Europe to attend Council of Europe meetings on matters which relate to health and social issues. Although not one of IDF Europe’s main targets for its advocacy activities, it is, nevertheless, one more platform to raise the profile of diabetes and to encourage countries both within and outside the EU to support the development and implementation of national diabetes-specific policy.

On the 31st of January 2007 a Motion for recommendation was signed by 15 members of the Assembly in which they call Europe to act and come forward with a European framework for the prevention of chronic diseases. This motion was sent for information to the Health Committee

  1. Together We Are Stronger (TWAS) Annual Meetings

Each year, IDF Europe organizes its annual “Together We Are Stronger” meeting, intended to bring all of its national member associations together to discuss current issues and to share experiences. Usually organized by one of its member associations, this is an excellent opportunity for IDF Europe to communicate to its members, highlighting the various activities carried out on their members’ behalf and to demonstrate their value as their representative in Brussels.

The meeting in 2006 was held in November in Warsaw, Poland. The meeting in 2007 will be held in September in Dublin. The Board decided to hold the meeting in 2008 in St. Julians on the island of Malta. This meeting will take place from 19 – 21 of September 2008. The Board invited the member associations to send there interest for hosting the 2009 meeting to the office before the end of 2007.

  1. Sub Regional Activities

IDF Europe has a number of sub regional groups which meet to discuss issues affecting particular countries in IDF’s wide-ranging European region. These groups are as follows:

Nordic Countries – includes Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Faroe Islands. The last meeting was held in August 2007 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Diabetes Experts’ Panel from Accessing Countries (DEPAC) – includes Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia. The last meeting was held in October 2006 in Budapest, Hungary.

Central European Countries (CEC) – includes Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey. The last meeting was held in November 2006 in Belgrade, Serbia.

Eastern European Countries (EEC) - includes Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The last meeting was held in April 2007 in Almaty in Kazakhstan.

  1. Task Force on Eastern Europe

IDF Europe has formed a Task Force on Eastern Europe, the scope and activities of which have been discussed at the first meeting in Poland (November 2006).

  1. Association Development Training Courses

Through the organization and implementation of a series of training courses, IDF Europe aims to facilitate the accelerated development of its national member associations across the region, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe.

These workshops will focus on organizational aspects of associations, media skills including the development of association magazines, relations with professionals and corporate sponsors and skills in advocacy and government relations.

The first workshop took place in November 2006 in Warsaw, Poland for the EEC countries.

The Board of IDF Europe decided that two EEC countries would receive an educational grant of € 8.000,-- for the implementation of sustainable progress in their health system. The best projects were from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

The next workshop is organized for the Central European Countries and takes place on 24 and 25 September 2007 in Dublin. The workshops in 2008 will take place on 17 and 18 September in Malta, preceding the Together We Are Stronger Meeting.

  1. Association Development Officer

Building on the association development training courses, IDF Europe also aims to improve the interaction with national member associations across the region to accelerate their development. By appointing a dedicated member of the IDF Europe team, an association development officer, this person will be able to dedicate more time to liaising between IDF Europe and its member associations, forming partnerships between associations in the East and West of the region, advising the IDF Europe board on member association needs, and, where required, performing an ambassadorial role in governmental representations.

In the first year, the development officer will expected to carry out reports in 3 EEC countries and to organize/participate in a development training course in Central Europe. By the 1st of February 2007 Cristian Andriciuc has been appointed for a period of three years.

  1. UN Resolution

Launched in June 2006, IDF Europe has supported the IDF Global Campaign for a United Nations Resolution on Diabetes. The resolution was adopted by the UN on December 20 2006. In 2007 the Celebration of the Adoption will be carried out by an IDF Global Task Force in which IDF Europe will take part.

  1. New and Existing Partnerships (EASD, EARADIA, PCDE, FEND, WHO, EPHA, EPF, HFE)

IDF Europe has come to be regarded as a valued partner by EU policy and decision makers as well as by other stakeholders in the diabetes and healthcare world. It is important for IDF Europe to continue to strengthen these relationships, and to develop new ones, in order to maintain its reputation and influence in the numerous meetings where they wish to influence the debate.

Recent examples include IDF Europe’s participation in WHO’s Conference on Obesity in November 2006 in Istanbul and the Grand Research and Implementation Symposium in Lund (Sweden) in March 2007 on diabetes and globalization.

IDF Europe has been active within the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), Health First Europe (HFE) and became also a member of the European Patients’ Forum (EPF).

  1. Website

The IDF Europe website is an essential tool which should enable national member associations, as well as other third party stakeholders to access the latest information on IDF Europe’s activities. Although maintained by IDF Global, the IDF Europe website will benefit from restructuring and updating. In the period 2006-2007 an intranet has been developed and introduced at the TWAS meeting in Dublin. This intranet is specifically developed for the member associations who can have access via an id and password. Information from the member associations and IDF Board will be available to other member associations.

  1. Newsletter and Diabetes Voice

The IDF Europe newsletter is another useful tool for communicating with the national member associations, updating them on recent activities in Europe, sharing useful information and ‘best practice’ across different countries and requesting support for upcoming and ongoing IDF Europe initiatives. The newsletter is produced and distributed approximately every 3 months.

Diabetes Voice, the official publication of IDF Global, will be published in Russian as of 2007 and will be available in an electronic form via the website of IDF Global and IDF Europe.

  1. Communication within IDF Europe

The success of the Association Village during the EASD Conference in September 2006 in Copenhagen was followed by an Association Village in Amsterdam 2007. Also during the IDF Congress 2006 in Cape Town, South Africa a big Association Village was organized once again.

Other activities which are worth mentioning include:

  • the activities organized for World Diabetes Day, and about which we reported in our Newsletters

  • the co-operation between EURADIA, FEND, IDF Europe and PCD Europe on the occasion of the Bad Gastein meeting.

  • the launch of the Russian edition of Diabetes Voice

  1. Office IDF Europe

The Office of IDF Europe (Lex Herrebrugh, Regional Office Manager and Lala Rabemananjara, assistant to the ROM) facilitated the activities of the Federation. Besides these activities of the Federation the necessary contacts were maintained with other Non Governmental Organizations, mostly based in Brussels, in order to follow up on activities that were related to the European Union (Written EU Parliamentary Declaration, Vienna Conference, EU Platform on Diet, Health and Physical Activity) and regular contacts with the Corporate Partners were scheduled. As of February 2007, Cristian Andriciuc is hired as the Association Development Officer, and is based in Rumania.

The office was assisted by three external consultants (Anja Strootker, Debra Lord and Louise Fox) who, with the financial support of some of our Corporate Partners, were able to assist on EU Affairs, Glucoforum activities and the European activities that were directly related to IDF Global’s mission to achieve a United Nations Resolution (UNite for Diabetes).

  1. Finances

During the General Assembly in Dublin, 23 September 2007, the financial report 2006 was presented separately. IDF Europe ended the year 2006 with a positive balance of € 11.229.

The conclusion at the start of the new is that the financial situation of IDF Europe is stable and that we can expect a balance of income and expenses in this triennium.

IDF Europe receives a yearly payment of € 15.000 from IDF Global and fees from its Corporate Partners. We are also very happy with the direct support from a small number of member associations, and we hope that in future more member associations will support IDF Europe directly for its increasing activities. For 2007 we have received direct financial support from the following eight member associations: the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Cyprus Kyrgystan, Uzbekistan and the United Kingdom.

  1. Partnerships

From the former paragraph it is apparent that IDF Europe’s activities are very much dependent on the support of our member associations and Corporate Partners. IDF Europe did not receive any financial support from governments nor from the European Union.

That means that without the (financial) support from our Corporate Partners (from their headquarters as well as from their affiliates) we would have been extremely restricted in our activities.

At the start of 2007 the following 15 companies were Corporate Partners of IDF Europe (in alphabetical order):

AstraZeneca, Bayer, Bioton, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, LifeScan, Medtronic, Merck Serono, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer Europe, Roche Diagnostics, Sanofi Aventis and Servier.

Since the General Assembly in Warsaw in November 2006 two meetings with the Corporate Partners were held: 8 June 2007 and 21 September 2007. The next meetings are planned in December 2007, February and September 2008. We are all of them very thankful for making our activities possible.

  1. Closing remarks

From the previous paragraphs we conclude that 2006-2007 was once again an extremely energetic and positive year.

Another IDF triennium is completed, also within the European region. In Cape Town IDF Europe’s chair has officially changed hands from Wim Wientjens to Tony O’Sullivan.
The Board of IDF Europe wants to say “thank you” to all those who have worked so hard (volunteers and office) for the benefit of all people with (pre-) diabetes in Europe.

The Board of IDF Europe

General Assembly — Dublin, 23 September 2007

IDF | Promoting diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide

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