European Commission Activities
According to its own website, the European Commission is the EU's executive body. It proposes and enforces legislation and represents and upholds the interests of Europe as a whole.
The Commission drafts proposals for new European laws and manages the day-to-day business of implementing EU policies and allocating EU funds. It also makes sure that everyone abides by the European treaties and laws.
In recent years, the EU has shown an increasingly positive attitude to brain research. EBC is pleased to notice that the 7th Framework Research Programme of the EU - a main EU instrument to fund research, has given prominence to brain research.
It is now crucial that every nation in Europe follows its example and makes brain research a priority.
The EBC offers information and advice to European Commission in order to help ensure that the implementation of brain research is in line with the perspectives of scientists and patients. With this in mind, EBC produced two landmark documents:
- With the aim of ensuring that research is coordinated across Europe, the EBC has developed in 2006 a Consensus Document, updated in 2011, which describes over 40 research themes. Each theme contains a proposal for future research, spanning from a specific brain disorder to its basic mechanisms.
- In 2005, the EBC announced the results of a pan-European project
to analyse for the first time the cost of all brain disorders in Europe.
The success of the 2005 study in alerting European politicians and policy makers to the prevalence and high cost of brain diseases as well as the low levels of associated research funding resulted in a follow up report: "Cost of disorders of the brain in Europe 2010" being a direct successor of a benchmark study of the same title published in 2005, commissioned one more time by the EBC.
The evidence base has grown appreciably over the past five years, allowing for a more accurate, thorough and wider-ranging study. The 2010 report examines 19 major groups of disorders of the brain rather than the previous 12, and also covers 514 million people in all compared to 466 million following Bulgaria's and Romania's accession to the European Union.
It estimates the total direct and indirect costs to European society of brain disorders has risen to 798 billion Euros, affecting more than a third of the continental population.
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