The European Multiple Sclerosis Platform has a truly remarkable journey of ensuring that people affected by multiple sclerosis (MS) have a real voice in determining their own objectives and priorities. 2019 was an important milestone for EMSP: the celebration of its 30th Anniversary. Much has changed since EMSP was founded three decades ago. The work of the European MS Community has significantly altered how health care providers at a European and national level work toward improving the health and health care for people living with MS. In Europe, the growth in number of the newly diagnosed has added to the already strong demand for high-quality, affordable health care for everyone affected by the disease.
In that span of time EMSP has achieved more than any of us could have ever imagined 30 years ago: founded by 21 member organisations in 1989, the organisation consisted of only a Board. The first Secretariat member joined 10 years later. EMSP has been among the lead organisations of the patients’ voice in Brussels for the past 20 years. Today, EMSP is a well-established, strong advocate of the voice of people with MS in Europe, with 41 members in 36 countries, acknowledged by the European institutions and key stakeholders in the field of MS. While EMSP returned to a path of sustainability over the past year, in 2019 we restructured our Secretariat and realigned our overall strategic objectives in an increasingly challenging economic situation. All that EMSP has accomplished is due to the initial grassroots efforts of European MS organisations seeking better care and a better-quality life for people affected by Multiple Sclerosis – a mission that remains in focus to this day.
On the pages of this commemorative 30th anniversary annual report, we look back at our humble beginnings and provide a summary of what we have achieved in the previous 12 months. We invite you to read more about what we have learned and what lies ahead. As always, on behalf of our Executive Committee and Secretariat, we would like to thank all our member organisations, partners, volunteers and corporate sponsors for their continuous support and participation in this wonderful journey.
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At EMSP we are keen on connecting more with our community. For a meaningful digital engagement, EMSP is using the latest digital communication tools to expand and strengthen the relationship between its organisation and the MS community. Digital media is transforming our lives and we recognise the importance of digital communication in engaging more effectively with people with MS, MS Societies, researchers, healthcare professionals, industry representatives, decision-makers and our partner organisations.
EMSP has been working with and for MS Societies across Europe since 1989 – now with 41 MS Societies in 36 European countries under its umbrella and counting
Währinger Gürtel 18-20
13500 People affected by MS
On the very outset of this report, we would like to express our gratitude to all who provided their support to EMSP and its Secretariat to successfully achieve its objectives in 2019, including EMSP member organisations, sponsors and Executive Committee members. Our sincere appreciation goes to the Lithuanian MS Union (LISS) and their enthusiastic group of volunteers for co-hosting the #EMSP Annual Conference 2019.
We would like to also take this opportunity to thank the MS advocates and experts that contribute to the development of EMSP’s projects and help us to deliver high-quality resources for people with MS, including the MS Nurse PRO Steering Committee members, the members of the MS Data Alliance working group and the members of the Young People’s Network.
We would like to acknowledge the valuable contribution of Georgina Carr, former Head of Campaigning and External Relations at the UK MS Society, as well as Hendrik Schmitt, former CEO of the German MS Society during their EMSP Executive Committee mandate. We wish them luck in their future endeavour. A warm welcome goes to our NEW Executive Committee members, namely Herbert Temmes, current CEO of the German MS Society and Jonathan Blades, who is replacing Georgina as Head of External Relations at the UK MS Society.