November 23, 2018

Event in the European Parliament : “Safeguarding equal access to safe and high quality blood supply in Europe”


22 January, 16.30 to 18.30
European Parliament, Brussels
Room ASP 5E3


The European Blood Alliance, together with MEP Françoise Grossetête (EPP, France) and MEP Guillaume Balas (S&D France) are hosting an EU policy event on blood donation, in the context of the evaluation of the Directive 2002/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 January 2003 setting standards of quality and safety for the collection, testing, processing, storage and distribution of human blood and blood components and amending Directive 2001/83/EC, here shorten to “EU Blood Directive”.

The event will serve as a platform to discuss the issues in relation with the EU Blood Directive and its potential revision, for enhanced EU action on blood components safety, quality, and donorship, nurturing the debates on a potential new Directive, in preparation of the changing EU political leadership in 2019 (elections of new European Parliament, and new European Commission entering into office). It will be an occasion to discuss further the EU Blood Directive with MEPs and stakeholders.

The event is addressed to Health Attachés, MEPs, European Commission representatives working in the field of health and key stakeholders, to inspire EU action. MEPs will be encouraged to prepare a position on the proposed revision of the Directive, provided the EC has decided whether it will follow the evaluation with a revision. Based on this, the event could also serve to initiate an informal coalition of organisations sharing the same views on the revision of the Blood Directive.

Opening – by host MEP Grossetête
Lifesaving blood supply: Patient cases with focus on rare blood and blood supply in recent major incidents

In case of major incidents such as terrorist attacks, one of the biggest challenges is accessing safe and adequate quantities of blood. Safe supply of blood and blood components is essential to enable a wide range of critical care procedures to be carried out in hospitals. Likewise, blood is a key treatment for several chronic diseases, be them of genetic origins or not, patients with rare diseases such as sickle cells and Thalassemia rely on blood donations to maintain their health. Ensuring a constant and safe supply of blood and its components is a mission every country must uphold to the highest level. But what are the needs and how can supply match demand in case of unforeseen high needs? What are rare diseases patients’ expectations? How can we secure a sustainable donor base?

Dr Eleftheriou, Thalassemia International Federation
Khadija Kerissi &  Lisa Klinkenberg, Sanquin, Dutch Blood Services

Is blood a good? Shifting from public health directives to ECJ cases based on consumer law

Blood is not a commodity but an essential component of health and healthcare, a privileged service. Following divergence of views on Voluntary Non-Remunerated Donations (VNRD), the CJEU in its rulings has confirmed the EU basis of an open market for blood products, hence deviating from public health grounds towards market considerations for blood related issues. Future EU legislation on blood products and services must be the result of a democratic discussion and vote not of court rulings,  and based on a conscious decision by elected bodies.

Samuel Valcke, Director of Legal Affairs at Pasteur
Prof. Hervey, Professor of European Union Law School of Law, Sheffield
MEP Guillaume Balas

Securing donation culture throughout Europe: Voluntary unpaid donations (VUD) in the society and donor expectation

Blood donation is an altruistic action that benefits all of society and an adequate supply can only be ensured through regular donations by voluntary, unpaid blood donors; every country needs year-round blood donation, in order to maintain adequate supplies and achieve national self-sufficiency of blood. What are the motives of blood donors and is VUD important for them?

What are the measures put in place to secure sufficient supply of blood and can countries meet their self-sufficiency objectives? Are there policies or actions at EU level that could support EU Member States in their need to continuously ensure VUD of blood supplies?

Alice Simonetti, FIODs
MEP Merja Kyllönen
Cees Smit, patient

Closing: summary and statement of the Issues flagged up for EU Blood and Cells Directive


Professor Philippe Vandekerckhove, EBA

Registration is now closed.

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