Overcoming policy barriers to improve care for people living with obesity

A technical working session in collaboration with the MEP Interest Group on Obesity & Health System Resilience

26 October 2023 | Brussels, EU Quarter

The MEP Interest Group on Obesity and Health System Resilience in collaboration with EASO – the European Association for the Study of Obesity, is convening a technical working session on overcoming policy barriers to improve care for people with obesity and EU added value.

The Technical Working Session taking place on 26 October will be a “closed door” meeting for key actors at EU, national and regional levels across stakeholder groups to discuss the status quo and challenges faced which could be addressed through EU added value.


The aim of this technical meeting is to raise awareness of existing fiscal and policy barriers that prevent advances towards modernizing obesity care. Through the review of national examples, key EU legislation and EU case studies from other therapy areas, we hope to identify solutions to overcome barriers at a national level.


In 2022, the MEP Interest Group on Obesity and Health Systems Resilience conducted a Study Trip to five EU Member States (Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy and Spain) which culminated in A Joint Declaration Towards Applying an NCD Framework for Obesity National Plans Across Europe – Member of the European parliament Interest Group (mepobesityinterest.eu) launched on 4 March 2022.

One of the key points in the Declaration, which was co-created by over 100 stakeholders across a multi-stakeholder spectrum was the embedding of Article 35 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights whereby everyone has the right of access to preventive health care and the right to benefit from medical treatment under the conditions established by national laws and practices. A high level of human health protection shall be ensured in the definition and implementation of all Union policies and activities. [6]

There has been a clear legal basis from a WHO perspective since 1948 when obesity was classified as a disease. In addition, the EU Cross border healthcare Directive as well as related national Patient Rights Legislation have provided legislation with direct applicability at national and cross-border levels. Finally, several health service delivery elements are covered under EU Internal Market Rules and related discriminatory practices.

Further information

If you would like to know more about our work in this area or wish to contribute please do contact Jacqueline Bowman Busato, Head of policy at EASO and lead of the scientific secretariat for the MEP interest group at jbowman@easo.org 

*Eli Lilly and company has provided sponsorship funding to support the event.