Astrid Lulling (Luxembourg)
MEPs speak out on dementia
Astrid Lulling (Ireland) talks to AE about her priorities for the European elections (May 2009)
In the run up to the elections, Alzheimer Europe asked Members of the European Parliament the following questions:
1. As the mandate of this European Parliament draws to a close, we would be very interested in hearing which you consider to be the key accomplishments of this Parliament which had a direct impact on people with Alzheimer’s disease and their carers?
2. After the European Parliament elections in June, which are the main policy initiatives that will be important for people with dementia and their carers?
3. If you are re-elected, do you have any personal priorities that would be of particular interest to people with dementia and their carers?
Astrid Lulling: The European Parliament (EP) has played a big role in raising awareness and moving the European policy agenda forward. After the two Council recommendations of September and December 2008, the EP Written Declaration on AD that I have signed is another step forward in making dementia a EU priority. The European Commission is now called upon from all sides to have an initiative on Alzheimer’s disease and encourage national Alzheimer plans. I was glad to hear that Commissioner Vassiliou had announced a Commission initiative on Alzheimer's disease in 2009.
The Ageing of the population is a sensitive issue. The increase in the number of older people will be coupled with an increase in the number of people with dementia. In Luxembourg, it is estimated that some 4,500 persons suffer from dementia (over 1% of the population). These numbers are expected to double and even treble by 2050, having a huge impact on health and social services. It is therefore imperative to act now and answer the needs of people with dementia and their carers and plan for the future.
I will ensure that the EP Written Declaration and French Presidency conclusions are followed by actions in the next EP and will follow with great interest the Commission's Alzheimer initiative. I remain committed to supporting the work of Alzheimer Europe during the next mandate as well as continuing to support the European Alzheimer's Alliance and ensuring it gets the European Parliament recognition it deserves.
Last Updated: Wednesday 14 October 2009