Dear Friends, Members and Partners,
While the world is assessing the impact of two years of a global pandemic crisis and now is facing the war at Europe’s doorstep, in Ukraine, we can’t help but be overwhelmed by a sense of compassion, urgency, and solidarity. The impact of our societies of those events goes in-depth and pushes us to rethink our priorities and question our ways.
To shed lights on the current context, we dedicate this report to all the first responders that show daily resilience, professionalism and courage to help people face those challenges and accompany them through difficult moments.
Amid a Europe marked by the continuous spread of the COVID-19, natural disasters growing in numbers and intensity over the Summer, and international political challenges; EMSP and its members thrived to develop its new Strategic Plan 2022-2024, working together for a future free of multiple sclerosis, in order to define priorities that respond to the current reality in which people with MS lived and the challenges they are facing.
For over 30 years, the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform (EMSP) has been the leading voice in Europe advocating for people living with MS. Together with our members, partners, and people living with MS across the EU, we strive to influence policy decisions to ensure high-quality, equitable treatment, care, and resources for people affected by MS, and their inclusion in education, employment and society at large. EMSP is also a driving force in the MS research agenda, ensuring coherence, engagement of people living with MS, and advancement towards our vision of a world without Multiple Sclerosis.
A world without MS, achieved in partnership with people living with MS, their communities across Europe, and their allies.
EMSP brings together the unique expertise of our members and partners in Europe to drive critical, state-of-the-art research and advance MS-relevant policies and treatments and possible cure. Our platform offers our members, EU decision-makers and opinion-leaders, and the wider MS community valuable evidence-based resources and tools to improve the lives of every individual living with MS in Europe.
In 2021, at EMSP, we felt the impact of the measures taken to help contain the global pandemic. In March last year, the container ship Ever Given got stuck in the Suez Canal, causing a complete standstill for shipments of goods transiting through the canal. This had major economic consequences for international trade. In a way, the corona measures have had the same effect on our processes: project sponsors are slower to advance and are more careful with the resources available ; therefore, impacting the implementation and planning of our projects. Despite another year of constraints and associated difficulties in delivering projects as planned, our CEO and her team managed to close the year, once again, on a balanced balance sheet.
We would like to express our gratitude to everyone who provided their support to successfully achieve our objectives in 2021, including EMSP member organisations, Executive Committee members, partners, and sponsors.
We would also like to 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 and Syllabus Committee members, the members of the MS Data Alliance working group and the members of the Young People’s Network.
EMSP’s reach and impact is enhanced by the close cooperation with many other European organisations. Among others: Rehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis (RIMS); MS International Federation (MSIF); European Patients’ Forum (EPF); European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA); European Brain Council (EBC); the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS); the European Disability Forum (EDF) and the International Organisation of MS Nurses (IOMSN).
A heartfelt thank you also goes to our external consultants who supported the work of the EMSP Secretariat in 2021: Downtown Europe team (Professional Conference Organiser), Dr Rebecca Maguire, Health Policy Partnership team, Campaign Accelerator team, Andrés Martínez Ricci, Donna Cardillo, Amy Perrin Ross, Baron Charles van der Straten Waillet, MEP Kateřina Konečná, MEP Tilly Metz, Impact Media team, Istvan Nagy and many others that accompany us on our journey.
We would like to acknowledge the valuable contribution of Cristina Munteanu, our former Administrative Coordinator who made sure that we have a smooth administrative operation during a maternity coverage.
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