Recently, the European ME Coalition (EMEC) had a meeting with representatives of the European Commission.
Last year the European Parliament adopted a resolution that called for additional funding for biomedical research on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). EMEC recently had a meeting with representatives of the European Commission to discuss the follow-up on the resolution and the actions by the European Commission to advance ME/CFS research in Europe.
They indicated that they are working to make progress for ME/CFS patients in Europe. The main European research program, Horizon Europe, does not focus on specific diseases, but rather on disease categories. Therefore, they hope to implement policies that will allow scientific research on a broader category of under-researched illnesses like ME/CFS.
The recently announced research program in Germany is a good example of what could be achieved in the long term with this approach. It will, however, take time and patience. The downside of this approach is that the first specific calls should be expected no sooner than 2023. The upside is that, if this is implemented as planned, there will be long-term structural funding for under researched illnesses like ME/CFS. So, as a result, this will hopefully become a well-established category in every future Horizon Europe work program.
EMEC will continue to follow the process and keep fighting for scientific research on ME/CFS to give patients better prospects.