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Brussels, 30 March 2011

Health: Commission launches 3rd Journalist Prize

Today, registration opens for the 3rd EU Health Prize for Journalists. The aim of this prize is to raise awareness on health issues by showcasing the talents of the best health journalists from across the 27 Member States. As with the previous two prizes, the theme of the 3rd prize is 'Europe for Patients', which from this year, includes the topic of pharmaceuticals. The winners will receive cash prizes of 6.000 € for first place, 2.500 € for second place and 1.500 € for third place. New this year is a special prize of 3.000 € that will be awarded for an article that highlights the health dangers of tobacco.

Over 700 journalists from across the EU have participated in this Health prize so far. Their articles show how health issues affects Europeans every day lives. The Commission is confident that this year will bring to the fore new talent and put the limelight on citizens and patients views' and concerns on health.

Journalists are invited to submit articles on one or more of the topics of the Europe for Patients campaign.

This year, the Commission's initiatives in the realm of pharmaceuticals have been added to the issues covered by this competition, which are: cross-border healthcare, rare diseases, health workforce, patient safety, organ donation and transplantation, cancer, flu vaccination, prudent use of antibiotics, mental health, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias and childhood vaccination. The focus of articles should be on the patient.

A special prize will also be awarded to the best article showing what smoking does to people's health, and how people's lives can be damaged by tobacco and nicotine.

The rules

  • Participants to the competition must be nationals or residents of one of the 27 EU Member States and aged 18 or over.

  • A maximum of 2 articles can be submitted per participant and team submissions are accepted as long as the team does not exceed 5 people.

  • All articles must be in one of the official languages of the EU and have been originally published in either a print or online media outlet.

  • The maximum length of the article should not exceed 20 000 characters (including spaces).

  • More rules and conditions can be found on the dedicated website.

Selecting and awarding the winners

In each Member State, a national jury composed of journalists and public health experts, chaired by the European Commission, will select one national finalist.

An EU jury will then select three EU level winners and the special prize winner among the 27 finalists. The 27 finalists will be invited to Brussels at the beginning of 2012 for a media seminar on EU health issues, to be followed by an award ceremony.

Winners of the previous Prizes

The first place winner of the 1st EU Health Prize for Journalists was French journalist Estelle Saget, with her article "Schizophrenia explained to family and friends" printed in 'L'Express'.

A team of 2 Italian journalists, Gianluca Ferraris and Ilaria Molinari, writing for 'Panorama', won first place in the 2nd EU Health Prize for Journalists. Their article "Stealing Hope" drew attention to "healing clinics" that offer expensive, but unproven, therapies to vulnerable patients suffering from chronic diseases.

The EU health prize for journalists and the Europe for Patients Campaign are funded under the Second Community Health Programme 2008-2013. Further details on the rules and conditions are available on the website.

To submit an article and find out more about the EU Health Prize for Journalists please visit the dedicated website:

The 'Europe for patients' website:

For more information on Tobacco Control in the EU:

For more information on the second Community Health Programme

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