Interest Group Integrative Medicine and Health
European Parliament 2019 -2024
The newly established Interest Group on Integrative Medicine & Health continues the work of the former MEP Interest Group on CAM. This group brings together MEPs who work collectively to promote the inclusion of CAM as part of Integrative Medicine & Health in all possible European Parliament public health policy.
Why an Interest Group in the European Parliament?
One in two EU citizens uses complementary medicine either alongside or as an alternative to conventional biomedical care. This high demand is not yet reflected in EU or national health policy or provision. In addition, there is diversity in complementary medicine regulation across the EU. There are differences in who can practice complementary medicine, what qualifications are required and how services are offered and financed. These discrepancies mean that citizens experience practical and attitudinal barriers that limit their access to and use of TCIM.
The health sector in the EU Member States is facing considerable challenges, such as antimicrobial resistance (AMR), increasing prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and soaring costs. Complementary medicine can offer a significant contribution to meet these challenges. These modalities are “integrative”, offering patient-centered healthcare, based on evidence-informed integration of conventional biomedicine and complementary medicine. Integrative Medicine and Health focuses on the whole person and considers the individual in its physical, psychological, spiritual, social and environmental context. It is inclusive of all professions and practices that use this approach and meets the demand of EU citizens for a more holistic, patient-centered approach in medicine. At the same time, TCIM is at the center of political and scientific debate. In this context, a forum for discussion on Integrative and Complementary Medicine’s contribution to EU health systems will bring clarity and rationality to this debate.
Aims and objectives of the Interest Group on Integrative Medicine & Health
- Establish and maintain a forum for discussion and action with all stakeholders regarding Integrative Medicine and Health.
- Raise awareness of Integrative Medicine and its contribution to more sustainable healthcare systems in the EU and to a more holistic approach to health.
- Focus on the integration of complementary modalities into the health systems of the EU Member States.
- Protect and promote citizens’ right to choose their own healthcare while providing access to information on Integrative Medicine and Health.
- Advocate for EU involvement in setting unified standards for regulation of Integrative Medicine and Health
The Interest group consists of co-chairs, members and a secretariat. The co-chairs ensure the leadership and political direction of the group as well as represent it. The secretariat will ensure the functioning of the Interest group and is run by EUROCAM.
Co-chairs and members will convene to discuss the actions of the Interest Group on Integrative Medicine & Health with the support of the secretariat at least once a year.
The Interest group on Integrative Medicine and Health will:
- Hold/host at least one roundtable/event per year, with relevant stakeholders to present and discuss the integration of complementary and conventional methods, with a specific focus on some of the challenges that affect EU health systems (AMR, NCDs; availability and freedom of choice in healthcare, neurological diseases; mental health, palliative care; healthy ageing and lifestyles; high healthcare costs.
- Propose and undertake legislative and political initiatives to promote Integrative Medicine and Health.
- Promote and support research into Integrative Medicine.
- Act as a watchdog for patients’ rights.
- Establish a sustainable dialogue with the Commission and Council on these matters.
Official launch In the European Parliament
On 7 December the Interest Group was officially launched in the European Parliament. View the event on YouTube.
Members of the Interest Group on Integrative Medicine and Health
Sirpa Pietikäinen, MEP and Co-chair of the Interest Group
Sirpa Pietikäinen is a Finnish politician and member of the European Parliament for the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats).
She is member of Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) and Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM), Delegation for relations with Palestine (DPAL) and Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (DMED). She is also a substitute member of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) and the Delegation for relations with the Pan-African Parliament (DPAP).
More about MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen can be found on the website of the European Parliament.
Michèle Rivasi, MEP and Co-chair of the Interest Group
Michèle Rivasi is a French politician and member of the European Parliament for the Group of the Greens.
She is a member of Committee on Development (DEVE), Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT), Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA), and the Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly. She is also a substitute member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). More about MEP Michèle Rivasi can be found on the website of the European Parliament.
Tilly Metz, MEP and member of the Interest Group
Tilly Metz is a Luxembourg politician and member of the European Parliament for the Group of the Greens.
She is chair of the Delegation for relations with the countries of Central America (DCAM). She is member of the Conference of Delegation Chairs (CPDE), Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) and Delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (DLAT). She is also substitute member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI).
" I joined the Eurocam interest group because I believe European patients can benefit from a more integrative approach to health. Prevention plays a key part in maintaining a good health and integrative medicine can help avoiding some challenges such as antimicrobial resistance. The well-being of patients should always be the focus of our policy-making and integrative medicines can play a role towards a well-balanced and patient centred Health policy. "
More about MEP Tilly Metz can be found on the website of the European Parliament.
Eleonora Evi, MEP and member of the Interest Group
Eleonora Evi is an Italian politician and member of the European Parliament for the Group of the Greens.
She is member of the Committee of Environment and Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), Committee on Petitions (PETI) and the Delegation for relations with the People’s Republic of China. She is also substitute member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). More about MEP Eleonora Evi can be found on the website of the European Parliament.
Margrete Auken, MEP and member of the Interest Group
Margrete Auken is a Danish politician and a member of the European Parliament for the Group of the Greens.
She is vice-chair of the Delegation for relations with Palestine (DPAL). She is member of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) and the Committee on Petitions (PETI). More information about MEP Margrete Auken can be found on the website of the European Parliament.
The secretariat of the Interest Group on Integrative Medicine and Health is managed by EUROCAM.
EUROCAM is the European foundation uniting umbrella organisations of patients, physicians, veterinarians and practitioners in the sector of Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine.
EUROCAM covers a broad spectrum of complementary medicine modalities, including acupuncture, Ayurveda, anthroposophic medicine, herbal medicine, homeopathic medicine, naturopathic or traditional European medicine, osteopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Join the Interest Group on Integrative Medicine & Health
Additional MEPs are welcome to become a member of the Interest Group, upon request and approval of the co-chairs and members. If you, as MEP, would like to receive more information or wishes to become a member send an e-mail to the secretariat In which you indicate that you want to join the Interest Group and work together with the other MEPs on promoting the inclusion of CAM as part of Integrative Medicine & Health in all possible EP public health policy.
On 7 December the official launch of the MEP Interest Group on Integrative Medicine & Health will be held.
Members of the 2019 – 2024 European Parliament, agreed to establish an Interest Group on Integrative Medicine and Health and agree to the Guiding Principles.
The former MEP Interest Group
The previous Interest Group on Complementary and Alternative Medicine organised various meetings and events in the European Parliament. The summary of the events can be found here.