The health challenges at EU level makes it that it is so important to develop tools and mechanisms to address them, and we can say that the EFN, and its 36 National Nurses Associations, have had a very busy agenda over the last months, monitoring the many issues and challenges facing nurses and the nursing profession at all levels, and in particular the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine, severely testing a whole population and again the frontline nurses relentlessly providing care to those in need.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, all EFN focus has been going into bringing support to our Ukraine nurse colleagues, with the support of the ICN Humanitarian Fund, and to the EFN members neighbouring countries (Poland, Slovenia, Romania, Hungary), and Moldova, with a specific focus on Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications (DIR55). We can say that this war has thrown Europe into a greater economic uncertainty and is once again bringing health ecosystems at risk. In these difficult times, creating resilient healthcare systems is a fundamental starting point to support nurses and healthcare professionals at the frontline.
In this second half of the year the EFN will also continue to bring nurses’ views and expertise into the developments at EU level, specifically on several EU projects the EFN is an official partner in – Smart4Health and InteropEHRate (Digitalisation), IMMUNION (Vaccination), and the just launched EU project on digital skills – BeWell (Blueprint alliance for a future hEalth Workforce stratEgy on digital and green skiLLs), aiming to build a movement of all healthcare stakeholders supporting and committed to the development, implementation, and upscaling of the strategy on upskilling and reskilling of the European health workforce.
Within these ongoing challenges, we need to get prepared for the second lobby half of 2022. Therefore, a relaxing summer holiday will be needed, and we hope to be back with full energy to face the upcoming EU challenges.
Paul De Raeve
EFN Secretary General