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EMPATHY: Europe meets Young Patients
Start date: 01 Aug 2012,

The purpose of this project EMPATHY is to organise a 4-day seminar where young chronic patients will establish an active dialogue with EU-level policy makers, stakeholder groups and patient organisations in order to promote a more holistic approach to addressing young patients' needs in EU decision-making processes.The seminar will consist of a balanced mix of young patients-, policy-makers- and stakeholders-led activities, involving 30 young patients, 7 more experienced patient leaders from EU-level patient organisations, 12 EU decision makers and 16 senior-level representatives of stakeholder organisations from the health, education, social and youth policy areas, thus a total of 70 participants.Through activities like “a day in a young patient’s shoes”, stakeholders, policy makers, and senior patients will be able to improve their understanding of young patients' needs and challenges they face in their daily lives. Likewise, through a set of policy discussions and “policy-making role-plays” young patients will be able to understand the dynamics of decision-making processes having consequences on their life, and they will be able to influence decisions to be taken in the future through commonly agreed recommendations.The seminar will be held in March 2013. A 6-month preparation period is envisaged, during which a youth steering group made up of 10 young participants and an advisory body of representatives of policy-makers, stakeholder organisations and senior patients will be set up to ensure that the event is: a) as aligned as possible to young patients' expectations, and; b) centred around key policy issues in the four domains identified for this project.The event report will be accompanied by 3 sets of recommendations, one for policy makers, one for stakeholder groups, and one for patient organisations on how to integrate young patient perspectives into their work, as well as a toolkit for young patients on how to make their voice heard in EU policy making.
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