Advocacy

Shaping policy and regulation


We have released a position paper on COVID-19 & digestive health 

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Digestive Health deserves attention

In promoting digestive health, we work towards the prevention of digestive diseases, as well as the advancement and equal access to treatments to help improve patient outcomes. We focus on reducing the socio-economic burden of digestive diseases and call for increased research funding.

Manifesto on Digestive Health

In order to enhance our advocacy efforts, we have produced a Manifesto on Digestive Health as our plea towards policymakers. The Manifesto underlines our key focus areas and aims to prioritise digestive health on the political agenda of the EU.

Browse Manifesto on Digestive Health

Manifesto on Digestive Health
  • Manifesto translations
  • Manifesto references
Manifesto references

Page 1

International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders. Facts About IBS. https://www.aboutibs.org/facts-about-ibs.html

Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis. 2013. The burden of inflammatory bowel disease in Europe. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23395397

EASL. The Burden of liver disease in Europe. www.easl.eu/medias/EASLimg/Discover/EU/54ae845caec619f_file.pdf

 

Page 2

1 NCBI. 2012. Dietary-induced cancer prevention: An expanding research arena of emerging diet related to healthcare system. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3312721/

NCBI. 2015. Red Meat and Colorectal Cancer. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4698595/

United European Gastroenterology. 2015. Eating less salt may reduce the risk of stomach cancer: UEG calls for greater salt-awareness across Europe. https://www.ueg.eu/press/releases/ueg-press-release/article/eating-less-salt-may-reduce-the-risk-of-stomach-cancer-ueg-calls-for-greater-salt-awareness-across-1/

NCBI. 2016. Association between Ultra-Processed Food Consumption and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: Results from the French NutriNet-Santé Cohort. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29904158

World Health Organisation Europe. 2018. Data and statistics. http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/disease-prevention/alcohol-use

World Health Organisation Europe. 2018. Data and statistics. http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/disease-prevention/alcohol-use

Awareness Week on Alcohol Related Harm. 2016. The negative economic footprint of alcohol related harm. http://www.awarh.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/The-negative-economic-footprint-of-alcohol-related-harm.pdf 

Journal of the Royal College of Physicians. 2010. Trends in European liver death rates: implications for alcohol policy. http://www.clinmed.rcpjournal.org/content/10/3/259long 

Global Cancer Observatory. 2012. Population Fact Sheets (EU-28). http://gco.iarc.fr/today/

10 Global Cancer Observatory. 2012. Predictions. http://globocan.iarc.fr/Pages/burden_sel.aspx.

11 United European Gastroenterology. 2017. Pancreatic cancer set to become third biggest cancer killer in EU next year. https://www.ueg.eu/press/releases/ueg-press-release/article/pancreatic-cancer-set-to-become-third-biggest-cancer-killer-in-eu-next-year/

12 The Lancet Oncology. 2013. Economic burden of cancer across the European Union: a population-based cost analysis.http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS1470-2045(13)70442-X/fulltext

13 BMJ. Study suggest possible link between highly processed foods and cancer. https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/study-suggests-possible-link-between-highly-processed-foods-and-cancer/

14 World Health Organisation. 2014. Global status report on alcohol and health 2014. https://www.who.int/substance_abuse/en/

15 UEG. Europe is “failing” to deal with chronic digestive burden”. 2018, https://www.ueg.eu/press/releases/ueg-press-release/article/europe-is-failing-to-deal-with-chronic-digestive-disease-burden/

Our core positions

At the core of our advocacy work are four core focus areas: nutrition; alcohol-related harm; chronic digestive diseases and digestive cancers. For each area, we closely monitor policy developments and issue calls to EU policymakers in order to drive change.

Position Papers
Nutrition

Dietary choices can increase the risk of developing chronic digestive diseases. The increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods, including those high in sugar, salt, saturated fats and trans-fats, is a huge concern and places an excessive strain on European health systems. 

More on nutrition

Way forward:

  • Greater understanding of digestive diseases and promotion of a change in eating culture
  • Whole-of-society approach to transform food systems: establishing clear, scientific targets and limiting the consumption and production of unhealthy foods
  • Comprehensive range of policies to limit the availability, affordability and acceptability of fast foods (fiscal measures, marketing, labelling)
  • Legislation to ban industrial trans-fats
  • Subsidies to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables

 

Digestive cancers

Digestive cancers, which include colorectal, pancreatic, gastric, oesophageal and liver cancer, are responsible for 28% of cancer-related deaths in the EU. 

Way forward:

  • Support initiatives on digestive cancers, within the remit of the new EU Cancer Plan and include a lifestyle approach on prevention.
  • Prioritise the implementation of standardized population-based and quality-controlled screening programmes in member states and ensure that guidelines are updated.
  • Increase funding for pancreatic cancer research (basic science and clinical studies)

 

 

Chronic digestive diseases

Chronic digestive diseases inflict a heavy healthcare and socio-economic burden in Europe. These diseases often affect patients at a younger age and lifelong disorders can have a significant impact on society. IBD, for example, affects 3 million people across Europe and costs the EU up to €5.6 billion per year.

More on IBD

Way forward:

  • Support a greater emphasis on health in the 2019-24 mandate.
  • Recognise the socio-economic burden of chronic digestive diseases.
  • Increase funding for the prevention and management of chronic digestive diseases and their impact on health systems.
  • Build a comprehensive EU strategy on chronic diseases.
Alcohol

The European region has the highest level of alcohol consumption in the world, with 25% of deaths from digestive diseases directly attributed to alcohol.

More on alcohol consumption

Way forward:

  • Prioritise protection from excessive alcohol consumption, including the prevention of aggressive marketing and deliver on a regulatory approach to labelling.
  • New EU Alcohol Strategy to support EU countries in reducing alcohol-related harm.

Patient Affairs

UEG is in active partnerships with pan-European patient organisations, carrying out joint activities in digestive health

Learn about Patient Affairs

Position papers

Position paper concerning COVID-19 and digestive health (2020)

This position paper features our recommendations and calls to governments, EU institutions and interest groups across Europe concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Coordinating European Action Against Colorectal Cancer – CRC Manifesto (2020)

In this manifesto, we call for the implementation of organised, population-based screening programmes across the entirety of the EU and for Member States to improve the coverage and quality of existing programmes and reduce the burden of colorectal cancer.

Read the manifesto

Key priorities for Horizon Europe Strategic Plan on Cluster 1 and its health-related challenges (2019)

The UEG Research Committee contributed to the consultation on Horizon Europe Strategic Plan, underlining UEG key priorities on Cluster 1 of the new EU research programme and its health-related challenges.

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Joint press statement: Spirits industry afraid of their own ingredients? (2019)

In response to the spirits’ industry approach to labelling their products, UEG together with Eurocare, EPHA, EASL, CPME, AIM and NordAN released a joint press statement pointing out the shortcomings of the self-regulatory approach on alcohol labelling.

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UEG and WONCA joint statement on reducing the burden of chronic digestive diseases (2019)

This UEG and WONCA joint statement sheds light on the burden of chronic digestive diseases in Europe. It highlights the role of primary care physicians in reducing this burden and recommends key actions that can be taken in primary care settings.

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Horizon Europe, Framework Programme 9 (FP9) (2018)

In its position paper on Horizon Europe, Framework Programme 9, UEG makes five main calls to EU’s policymakers which correspond to the main areas of concern in gastroenterology.

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Improving digestive health in Europe: Time to act (2018)

This position paper raises awareness about the magnitude of digestive diseases in Europe. It also creates awareness regarding the major risk factors for digestive health and calls for immediate action at EU-level.

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Digestive cancers: Why actions are needed? (2017)

This position paper gives an overview of the burden of digestive cancers within Europe and outlines concrete action to be taken at EU-level in order to improve the current state of art.

Read position paper

Contact

EU Affairs
Jana Tenglerova
  • UEG Brussels Office
  • M: +32 4777 649 34
EU Affairs
Andreea Botos
  • UEG Brussels Office
  • T: +32 4719 133 13