Brussels’ newest monument, an appeal to EU decision makers to take the fight against diseases of poverty to the next level in the next EU budget – by investing in R&D that can defeat HIV & AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
Brussels, May 30, 2018: One week out from the European Commission’s announcement of its plans for global health research as part of the EU’s next multi-year budget, DSW’s #LeaveALegacy campaign has unveiled a statue to “[insert name here] a champion of global health research”, encouraging EU leaders to grasp this opportunity to accelerate the fight against diseases of poverty like HIV & AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and have their name on the statue. By harnessing the potential of the EU’s next research framework, the leaders of today can begin to shape the legacy they leave behind tomorrow.
“No rollback on EU commitments to neglected disease research”
At the unveiling Cécile Vernant, Head of Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung’s (DSW) EU office, said: “by unveiling this statue at the heart of the EU institutions, and leaving the name blank, we want to encourage Europe’s decision-makers to think how they can support the global health research agenda in Brussels, in Strasbourg, and in European capitals over the next 18 months. Making sure that Horizon Europe, the EU’s next research agenda, incorporates a comprehensive approach to diseases of poverty is essential. Omit this and the EU would be turning its back on millions of people, on promising science. It would roll back on EU existing commitments, an unacceptable move that would have serious implication for the fight against existing and emerging epidemics, and making the prospects of us finding a cure for tuberculosis, or a vaccine for HIV, all the more difficult.”
The #LeaveALegacy campaign, launched in Brussels on March 22, is calling on EU leaders to consider what their political legacy could be if the invest in new vaccines, new treatments, and new diagnostic tools to fight diseases like TB, malaria, HIV & AIDS, and neglected diseases – diseases that affect over 1 billion people worldwide. It doesn’t have to be a statue or a street sign. If they commit to this agenda in 2018, it could mean millions of lives saved every year, and an end to the crushing cycle of disease and poverty, in addition to supporting scientific excellence and quality employment in Europe.
“Health needs to be kept separate from industrial competitiveness or it will lose out”
Says Cécile Vernant: “Policy commitment is one thing, but to make the political rhetoric a reality it needs to be backed up with a sizeable enough budget, and with a dedicated instrument to channel funding to the most promising projects. The Commission needs to forget about merging its objectives for societal challenges like health, with those it has for industrial competitiveness. Combine the two and this kind of health research, which relies on public investment, is sure to lose out.”
As the European Commission finalises its plans for a series of high-profile research “missions’ for the next budget, there is a huge opportunity to bring online a generation of potentially transformative medical innovations, if the Commission is listening: “Commissioner Moedas says he is committed to mission-driven research for the next research framework. Great! A mission aimed at diseases of poverty to the tune of at least €1 billion would usher in a revolution in global health research”
More information: www.dsw.org/en/leave-a-legacy
Communications Officer, Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW)
T: +32 (0) 2 504 90 66 | Mob: +32 (0) 485 399 443
Notes to the Editor
- Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) is a global development organisation that focuses on the needs and potential of the largest youth generation in history. We are committed to creating demand for and access to health information, services, supplies, and economic empowerment for youth. We achieve this by engaging in advocacy, capacity development, and reproductive health initiatives, so that young people are empowered to lead healthy and self-determined lives. With our headquarters in Hannover, Germany, DSW operates two liaison offices in Berlin and Brussels, as well as maintaining a strong presence in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. DSW also advocates for investment in research and innovation to fight poverty-related and neglected tropical diseases.
- According to the most recent G-Finder report, EU support for research funding dropped almost 40% to $77m in 2016. The G-finder report attributes this reduction to uneven disbursements by the European Commission to the EU’s main funding instrument in this area, the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP). More details here.