Patients can play an important part in policy making but it is important to come well prepared to a meeting. When defining your ask, make sure it is something your particular stakeholder can change.
Once you have defined your policy asks, it is important to also identify your stakeholders. Keep in mind that the most vocal stakeholder might not be the stakeholder with the most influence.
When developing your ask it is also important to not just be reactive to a policy that is debated in parliament. To be successful with your ask, it is important to meet early and to meet often to make stakeholders aware of the issue you are concerned with.
A stakeholder might agree to meet with you but if there is nothing they can do you will not have achieved your defined objective. When you work on a very specific technical detail of legislation the civil servants in a ministry might be the most appropriate person to work with instead of the minister directly. Also consider broadening your engagement with stakeholders and don’t just focus on healthcare related stakeholders.
For example, if you are asking for more funding for a specific cause it might be worthwhile to speak to the Ministry of Finance instead of the Ministry of Health as they will have the spending power.
When concluding a meeting with a stakeholder, always leave something behind such as a one-page document which summarises the key position you discussed.
Always make sure you follow up with your requests as your stakeholder will have many other meetings.
Countries represented at YCE’s Fundamentals of EU Policy Making included Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.
A special thank you goes out to our sponsors for helping make the event possible.