October 25, 2016 from 08.30 – 10.00
Members’ Salon, European Parliament, Strasbourg
‘We know integrating people with a chronic pain or brain condition in employment is socio-economically beneficial.’ Austrian MEP Mr Heinz Becker said opening the meeting in Strasbourg. ‘Getting people who want to work, back to work decreases the volume of disability allowance and early retirement payments. That is why this Written Declaration on Access to Employment for those affected by brain and pain disorders is important.’
Manuela Messmer-Wullen then told the group of six European parliamentarians and three advisors of her anger and loss of confidence after a stroke changed her life and how an understanding employer helped her regain her self-assurance. ‘We need to look at examples of good practice for example flexible working for people with chronic illness.’
‘We need to look at examples of good practice for example flexible working for people with chronic illness.’
Marian Harkin was shocked by the numbers affected 1 in 3 Europeans are affected by a brain disorder and 1 in 5 by chronic pain. She emphasised the importance of patients and their families contacting their members of the European parliament (MEPs) to sign the Written Declaration. She explained a Written Declaration is statement of policy which is placed before the Parliament for signature. Any MEP can sign if they support the Written Declaration and would like it to become the official position of the European Parliament. We need 377 MEP signatures before 12 January for this to happen.
Vice- Chair of the Employment committee Danuta Jazłowiecka MEP, pledged her support as did fellow Polish MEP Bogdan Wenta, the Slovakian Jana Žitňanská and George Bach.
The full Declaration can be read here.
Can you get your MEPs to sign?
You can download a list of MEPs by country along with template emails to send to the MEPs in your country.