European Epilepsy Day will be launched on 4th February 2014, in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, in advance of the official date for EED 2014, Monday 10th February. We are delighted to report that the event in the parliament will be opened by EU Commissioner for Health, Tonio Borg at a special reception to open a special poster exhibition on the theme ‘Epilepsy is more than seizures’.
A high number of MEPs and their assistants are expected to attend. Members of the ILAE/IBE Joint Task Force on Epilepsy – Epilepsy Advocacy Europe – will be in Strasbourg for the day and more than 30 private meetings with MEPs have been arranged. Members of the IBE European Regional Executive Committee will also attend.
Following a welcome to all by Gay Mitchell MEP, who is hosting the event, the EU Commissioner for Health Tonio Borg will make a special address. Other speakers will be Dr Athanasios Covanis, who will speak on the topic ‘Stigma and discrimination in epilepsy’, Dr Philippe Ryvlin, who will talk about the urgent need for greater research to promote improved care of persons with epilepsy; and Kalle-Pekka Hietala from Finland, whose presentation is ‘My life with epilepsy’.
The poster exhibition will showcase the stories of people living with epilepsy across Europe, both young and not so young; some whose epilepsy is controlled and others who are not so fortunate.
In addition, we are also taking the opportunity to highlight our gratitude to MEPs who have supported us since the first European Epilepsy Day in 2011. These include the 459 MEPs who signed the Written Declaration on Epilepsy and the 35 MEPs who are members of the special interest group in the parliament – European Advocates for Epilepsy.