Manifesto for a healthy Europe 2024-29 EUROCAM

EUROCAM is the European foundation unifying umbrella organisations of patients, physicians, practitioners, and veterinarians in the Traditional, Complementary, and Integrative Healthcare (TCIH) sector. EUROCAM represents acupuncture, Ayurveda, anthroposophic medicine, herbal medicine, homeopathy, naturopathic or traditional European medicine, reiki therapy, and traditional Chinese Medicine. The practice of these TCIH modalities is based on clinical expertise and the best available clinical evidence from scientific research built over the last few decades.

EUROCAM envisions a future where Traditional, Complementary, and Integrative Healthcare (TCIH) is an integral part of European health policies along with conventional medicine, offering a balanced and patient-centred approach to tackle the health challenges of our time.

Thus, EUROCAM calls on the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the Council, in the 2024-2029 legislature, to include TCIH in their policies to tackle the following issues:


The Benefits of TCIH for Cancer Patients

Unlocking the potential of Traditional, Complementary, and Integrative Healthcare (TCIH) through policy efforts is crucial to supporting patients with cancer. Europe is currently behind in the regulation, implementation, and research of integrative traditional and complementary medicine compared to global standards. However, both the Gujarat Declaration agreed at the World Health Organization (WHO) Traditional Medicine Global Summit, and the G-20 New Delhi leaders’ declaration support the development of TCIH in addressing pressing health challenges and promoting health and well-being. Supporting the widespread choice of EU citizens who use TCIH, EUROCAM calls for the EU to:

  • Increase R&D for integrative oncology treatments. Foster collaboration and strategic investment in Integrative Oncology. Merge conventional and TCIH methodologies for improved treatment outcomes. Thus, funding networks integrating TCIH for oncology facilitate knowledge transfer among healthcare professionals.

  • Incorporate integrative treatments into cancer care, prioritising One Health and Planetary Health, focusing on health promotion and sustainability. Develop and advocate for cross-sectoral policies that consider planetary health, acknowledging the interconnections of environmental factors and individual well- being in addressing cancer. Cancer patients and survivors will be empowered to navigate life beyond cancer by recognising and integrating TCIH as part of their ongoing sustainable care.

  • Foster public awareness of cancer prevention and high standards in integrative cancer care. Investment in education will increase health literacy, self-care and awareness of TCIH treatments among the population.

  • Encourage Member States to provide adequate context-based regulation to integrate safe TCIH. Promote public well-being through holistic approaches by implementing measures that encourage balanced lifestyle choices and diverse TCIH modalities.

  • Harmonise training and care guidelines for supportive cancer care for all medical professions, incorporating principles of TCIH to ensure quality and a comprehensive and patient-centred approach.


A Roadmap for a Healthier Europe Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance

This manifesto guides EU institutions in addressing Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). EUROCAM calls for a shift towards health promotion-based, sustainable AMR strategies that address AMR in a multidisciplinary One Health approach.

In 2023, the Gujarat Declaration and the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration highlighted the role of Traditional, Complementary, and Integrative Healthcare (TCIH) in addressing pressing health challenges, such as AMR, at the global level. To fully unlock the potential of TCIH and support the widespread choice of EU citizens who use TCIH, EUROCAM calls for the EU to:

  • Increase Research & Development for TCIH Treatments: Invest in research and development for non- antibiotic TCIH therapeutic options to prevent and treat infectious diseases.

  • Prioritise a One Health Approach: Strengthen health promotion-based policies that foster collaboration between healthcare, agriculture, and veterinary sectors, valuing information exchange and joint efforts to achieve an interdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder approach.

  • Advocate for AMR Strategies Based on Health Promotion: Advocate for health-based models centred on prevention through health promotion and efficient disease management as a key political agenda. Reduce reliance on unnecessary antibiotic use for optimal health and well-being. A health promotion-based stewardship approach will substantially reduce overuse and misuse of antimicrobials.

  • Include TCIH in National Action Plans (NAPs): Include TCIH approaches, among other measures, in NAPs to foster public awareness among citizens, healthcare professionals, and policymakers about TCIH prevention and treatment options for managing infectious diseases, enabling equitable access to them.

  • Take Global Leadership in the Fight Against AMR: Advocate for the EU to take a leading role globally, engaging with partners to develop coordinated strategies to address AMR worldwide in a multisectoral One Health approach, which includes TCIH.

EUROCAM is committed to contributing to the shaping of EU policies that effectively combat antimicrobial resistance. Collaboration, innovation, and health prevention-based strategies should lead the way in addressing this global health challenge.


The way forward for Mental Health Systems

Mental disorders are responsible for 1/3 of the global burden of disease, leading to much suffering and inability to participate in and contribute to society. Anxiety, depression, and addiction are on the rise, especially after Covid- 19. The evidence base for cognitive behaviour therapy and medication is lower than assumed and negative side effects are prevalent. Traditional, Complementary, and Integrative Healthcare (TCIH) has promising effects for mental disorders with fewer side effects.

Any EU strategy addressing mental health should foster EU citizens’ health and wellbeing as a whole, recognising that physical and mental health are deeply connected. Improving the health and resilience of the EU population is the way forward for sustainable health systems. In WHO’s strategic plans, member states are advised to integrate TCIH because of its effectiveness and lower costs.

This is in line with the global call of the Gujarat Declaration and G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration TCIH has a role in addressing pressing health challenges and promoting mental health and well-being. Supporting the widespread choice of EU citizens who use TCIH, EUROCAM calls for the EU to:

  • A Patient-centred Shift in Mental Health Care: From drug-based approaches to integrative/holistic ones, considering social and environmental factors. This way, advocating for radical reforms in medical education, clinical training, and allocating funding for research within the mental health care system.

  • Education of Patients with Mental Health Illness: Since there is a limited capacity for mental health care in the EU, we must promote mental health literacy through educational programmes and community initiatives to build resilience.

  • Advocate for Mental Health Strategies Based on Prevention: Advocate for a prevention approach, viewing prevention as the outcome of effective mental health care not only for the individual person, but for society as a whole. Highlight successful prevention models and best practices, including TCIH.

  • Foster Awareness: We call for the recognition of mental health and physical health as part of a whole. Emphasising non-discrimination in mental health care, ensuring equal access and treatment for all individuals.

  • Strengthen Mental Health Systems and Global Collaboration: Besides allocating funding for networks, encourage international collaboration within the EU for coordinated integrative mental health initiatives with a focus on building robust infrastructure for intervention and ongoing care.