Active Citizenship Network (ACN)

Summary of the initiative

Active Citizenship Network (ACN)
The objective of the present Charter is to create a European public opinion on patients' rights and to encourage all individuals to ask for and contribute to the respect of their fundamental rights concerning health care. It is also an instrument at the disposal of all stakeholders interested in working to the concrete application and improvement of patients' rights in Europe, since the Charter and the related monitoring tools allow an evaluation of the situation and set a number of practical objectives to be reached. Lastly, the progressive recognition of the Charter's value by EU institutions, regional and national governments can contribute to the harmonisation and reinforcement of the national policies on patients' rights in Europe.

Description of the Initiative



    Contact Point - Commission
    SANTE D2

    Self/Co-Regulation Basic Act

    Title of Act
    European Charter of Patients' Rights
    Title of Act
    Communication from the Commission - Follow-up to the high level reflection process on patient mobility and healthcare developments in the European Union, COM(2004)301 final.

    Geographical Coverage

    Participating Countries
    Other countries


    Problems that lead to the introduction of Self/Co-Regulation and the adoption of the Founding Act
    Despite their differences, national health systems in European Union countries place the same rights of patients, consumers, users, family members, weak populations and ordinary people at risk. Despite solemn declarations on the "European Social Model" (the right to universal access to health care), several constraints call the reality of these rights into question.
    Target Group(s)
    Active citizenship organisations working in the health area at national and European level, as well as all other health care stakeholders in Europe (public institutions, health care facilities, health care professionals, producers of medical products, etc.).
    Type of Instrument(s)
    European Charter.
    Level(s) at which private rules should be defined and applied
    Type of Financing
    Type of Monitoring
    Conduct an initial survey of compliance capacity of future regulateesConduct regular visits and spot checksInitiate complaints proceduresMaintain database of those bounded by the normsProduce regular reportsReceive complaints and verify if norms were breached or notReflexive dialogue with the - stakeholdersOther
    European Commission
    National public authority
    International public authority
    Private regulator (code owner)yes
    Private independent party with a mandate (e.g. auditors)
    Self-appointed private parties (e.g. NGOs)yes
    Succinct description of the type of Monitoring
    The monitoring was carried out in 2003-2004 in 14 of the "old" member states by national citizens organizations dealing with health. It consisted in a collection of information based on several instruments (direct observations in hospitals, questionnaires and interviews, analysis of existing statistics, etc.) and the identification of about 160 indicators for the 14 Charters' rights. It will be extended to all EU and candidate countries starting in 2007. The survey samples will also be enlarged to produce relevant data at national level too.
    Type of Enforcement
    Faming, shaming and blamingJudicial sanctionsMembership suspension/exclusionPrivate finesOther
    Private Regulator
    Private independent party with a mandate (e.g. auditors)
    Court system
    Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) / Online dispute resolution (ODR)
    Succinct description of the type of Enforcement

    Results of Commission Monitoring

    Link / Reference of Evaluation


    SMO self- and co-regulation database - private code 85