On 18 August, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel responded to questions raised by Member of Parliament Jordi Cañas regarding the recent ME/CFS resolution. Unfortunately, the answer, provided on behalf of the European Commission, does not acknowledge the underfunding of ME/CFS research in Europe nor does it propose new initiatives to address this urgent problem. Evelien Van Den Brink has written a response.
In her response, Evelien highlights that the recent parliamentary resolution does
not only address the difficulties of ME/CFS scientists in accessing research funding but the rights of ME/CFS patients to have their illness studied so that effective treatments can be found.
Evelien notes that in countries such as Australia, Canada, and the United States, governments have taken initiatives to support ME/CFS research while Europe is currently running behind.
Lastly, Evelien finds it unfortunate that the Commission’s response does not consider the possibility that COVID-19 might lead to an increase in the incidence of ME/CFS and related postviral syndromes. Although SARS-CoV-2 has caused enormous health- and economic crises, it also provides an exceptional opportunity to conduct prospective research and further our understanding of why some persons fail to recover from viral infections.