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Brussels, 17 February 2009

Launching the first EU health prize for journalists, part of the Europe for Patients campaign

Today, the European Commission launches the first EU health prize for journalists in print and on-line articles. This prestigious prize is an important component of the recently launched Europe for Patients campaign. The prize serves as both recognition and promotion of high quality health journalism across Europe. It serves to stimulate and contribute to the debate on EU health issues, specifically those initiatives related to the Europe for patients' campaign.

Androulla Vassiliou, EU Commissioner for Health said: "The prize recognises the crucial role and responsibility of journalists in communicating EU health polices and actions to the citizens of Europe. The initiatives adopted under the Europe for Patients campaign - such as cancer screening, patient safety, organ donation and transplantation, use of antibiotics and cross border healthcare affect us all and reflect the Commission's priority of putting the citizen first. I hope this prize will stimulate debate at local, national and European level."

Articles published in print or on-line publications between 2 July 2008, when the first Europe for Patients initiative was adopted, and the closing date of 15 June 2009 will be considered. Journalists are invited to submit their articles using the on-line entry form on the Europe for Patients website. Further details on the rules and conditions are available on the website.

The selection of the winner will be a two step procedure. First, national juries chaired by the Commission's Representation and composed of 2 health experts and 2 journalists will select a national finalist from each Member State. The second step is choosing the winner and 2 runners up. This is the role of the EU jury, chaired by the European Commission's Director General for Health and Consumers, Mr Robert Madelin. The names of the national and EU jury, when confirmed, will be published on the Europe for Patients website.

The 27 finalists will be invited to Brussels in autumn 2009 for a media seminar on EU health issues and a prestigious award ceremony hosted by Commissioner Vassiliou. The first prize will be 5,000 EUR, the second prize 3,000 EUR and the third prize 2,000 EUR.

The EU health prize for journalists and the Europe for Patients Campaign are funded under the Second Community Health Programme 2008-2013.

The EU health prize is intended as an annual event while its scope will be eventually broadened to cover also audio-visual media. This will depend on the success and lessons learned from this first year.

To submit an article and find out more about EU health prize for journalists please refer to the Europe for patients' website:

The second Community Health Programme 2008-2013:

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