EASO Stakeholder Session - Leveraging Europe

EASO Policy Stakeholder Sessions are a chance to explore a policy topic of concern to our community in from a range of perspectives and see where we can make a difference.

Contact EASO Policy Lead Jacqueline Bowman-Busato for further information: jbowman@easo.org


As the Presidency of the European Union shifts to a different Member State every six months, we are regularly presented with new opportunities to connect the dots between EU and national level. Moderated  by our policy lead, Jacqueline Bowman-Busato and EASO Executive Director, Euan Woodward, this session will focus on how we can leverage EU presidencies or other supranational  happenings from both a national and regional level to ensure obesity is prioritised and categorised and implemented at national level as a chronic relapsing disease.

Hear from a range of key European health and policy experts with experience working within the context of EU presidencies to understand how we can make the most of the upcoming presidencies which will be held by France followed by the Czech Republic and Sweden.

Joining the conversation:

  • Prof. Dr. Volkan Demirhan Yumuk, President Elect, EASO
  • MEP Pernille Weiss, Chair of the MEP Interest Group on Obesity and Resilient Health Systems
  • Ms Anne Sophie Joly, President CNAO (French Association for People Living with Obesity)
  • Mr Carlos Oliveira, President ADEXO, Portuguese Association for People Living with Obesity
Carlos Oliviera

Carlos Oliveira

Since 2002, Carlos has been President of ADEXO, a Portuguese obesity patient organisation which has changed the whole system of recognition and treatment of obesity in Portugal.

In 2006, he started the patient advocacy project in Europe, working with the European Parliament to make obesity recognized as a chronic disease in Europe.

Carlos graduated in Port Management and Maritime Technologies, he was Captain of the Portuguese Merchant Navy and Operations Director of the largest Portuguese port, Sines, until 2013.

What is a key challenge for national stakeholders dealing with EU/WHO matters?
(Carlos answer)

The main challenge for people dealing with EU issues is to overcome all the bureaucracy of accessing the system and get to all countries involved in the approval of diplomas.
The Commission should negotiate and define targets and ensure that these are applied in the countries that pass them without waiting for the approval of all 27.

It is everyone’s approval that makes many good goals fall to the ground since, in most cases, the interests of the countries are diverse.

“To overcome the bureaucracy, accessing the system and to get all countries involved in the approval of diplomas.”

Pernille WEISS

MEP Pernille Weiss

MEP Pernille Weiss is a politician from the Conservative People’s Party of Denmark and a member of the European People’s Party, (EPP). Pernille holds a seat in the

Industry, Research & Energy Committee (ITRE) and is a substitute in the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

She is also the chief executive officer (CEO) of a healthcare and architectural consultancy and serves as a board member to the business association of the European People’s Party (SME Europe) since 2019.

Ms Weiss is a qualified nurse who later went on to specialise in forensic nursing. She holds two master’s degrees: one in Health from the University of South Denmark and one in Leadership and Innovation from Copenhagen Business School.

What is a key challenge for national stakeholders dealing with EU/WHO matters?
(Pernille’s answer)

“Policy on obesity have to become less fragmented and we must kill the out-dated myths that haunt the debate. Obesity is not just a life-style choise.”

“Obesity policies must become less fragmented and we must address outdated myths which still permeate public debate. Obesity is not a lifestyle choice.”

Volkan Yumak

Prof. Dr. Volkan Demirhan Yumuk

Professor Volkan Demirhan Yumuk graduated from Hacettepe University Medical School in Ankara. He is currently a faculty member in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes, Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty. Volkan Yumuk’s research area is obesity, and his major clinical interest is prevention and management of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

He is a founding member of the Turkish Association for the Study of Obesity and the Balkan Obesity Network and is a member of the executive committee for the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) and is currently chairing the Obesity Management Task Force of EASO.

He was also elected as a SCOPE (Specialist Certification of Obesity Professional Education) European Fellow in 2007.

Anne-Sophie Joly

Anne-Sophie Joly

Anne-Sophie Joly is also a member of various EU commissions and bodies including the Presidential Commission of Mr. President Nicolas Sarkosy which gave rise to the Obesity Plan 2009, the presidential Commission of Mr. President Emmanuel Macron: Les Etats Généraux de l’Alimentation 2017 and at the Ministry of Health PNNS (National Nutrition and Health Plan), PO (Obesity Plan), DGS (General Directorate of Health Ministry of Health), DGOS (General Directorate of Health Organization Ministry of Health), Santé Publique France, IGAS (General Inspectorate of Social Affairs), ARS (Regional Health Agency), The Court of Auditors, HCAAM (High Council for the Future of Health Insurance).

Anne-Sophie Joly was awarded the “Order of Merit” in 2016 by Mr. Kenner, Minister of Sports and Associations, for her commitment to fight against obesity and has 17 recommendations of good practices in the writing committee related to obesity and weight problems, as well as the patient information commission (all pathologies). She is also a member of the “Ligue contre le Cancer” (League against Cancer).

What is a key challenge for national stakeholders dealing with EU/WHO matters?

“Quel est le principal défi pour les organisations nationales / acteurs concernes qui travaillent avec l’UE/OMS ? »
(Anne-Sophie answer)

A mes yeux le principal défi, ou les principaux défis seront de réaliser un travail collaboratif avec : les organisations national, européennes, privé, public, médiatiques, sociaux, populationnel, … sur les sujets de : l’Alimentation, le réchauffement climatique qui change et va changer nos modes de production et d’alimentation, la gestion des polluants à tous niveaux, la sédentarité lié à nos modes de vie et de travail, la pertinence, la qualité et l’observance des soins qui doit être réaliser avec le patient au coeur du ce système, et avec évidement la prévention.
Le surpoids et l’obésité on un cout pour les populations : diminution de l’espérance de vie, augmentation et apparition de plus en plus jeunes des maladies chroniques, de la santé mentale, de la discrimination, d’inclusion dans la société et dans le monde du travail, ainsi que sur les finances des personnes et des états…
Il est IMPERATIF d’agir maintenant, car nous courrons tous a notre perte, population et Etats.
L’Obésité est une maladie, que celle ci vous convienne ou pas, c’est un fait scientifique et un fléau.!
Je, nous population comptons sur votre collaboration pour réussir ensemble a trouver des solution réaliste, durable et effective de suite.

To engage and collaborate with all stakeholders involved in the subject matter including: national organisations, European organisations, public and private organisations, media (both traditional and social) etc..

About EASO – www.easo.org

Established in 1986, EASO is a federation of professional membership associations from 36 countries, with a network of over 130 specialist Collaborating Centres for Obesity Management across the region. EASO’s mission is to reduce the burden of unhealthy weight, and it promotes action through collaboration in research, education and policy. EASO represents scientists, health care practitioners, physicians, public health experts and patients.