In 2016, SAFE had four regional meetings. The first was the one for South European countries, held in Athens, Greece on 1st June 2016. The next one was in Skopje, attended mostly by SSO representatives from Balkan countries and colleagues from UK, Nederland and Poland. The third meeting was held in Oslo, Norway, on 16th June for Northern European countries. And the final meeting gathered representatives from the East of Europe in beautiful city of Krakow, Poland, on 5th July.

The  theme for all of the 2016 regional meetings was self-management of stroke and stroke clubs, as well as supporting supporters and volunteers in SAFE member’s countries, with special focus on SAFE’s activities during 2016.

Some of the main points to come from all four meetings were:

SAFE has agreed that purple will be the colour we want the world to associate with stroke. It is important to separate understanding of stroke from heart disease. WHO has now changed its definition and moved stroke out from under CVD, making it a stand-alone condition.

Jon Barrick, the President of SAFE, gave a comprehensive update on main SAFE’s activities, including the update on research projects, especially the Burden of Stroke Report.

The launch of the Burden of Stroke Report is planned European Stroke Awareness day on May 9th 2017 in Brussels, where SAFE will be standing side by side with ESO and the commercial partners. The EU launch will be followed by a second launch at ESOC 2017 in Prague May 16th to 18th.

The project itself is led by Prof Charles Wolfe from Kings College London. Preliminary findings will be reported by the medical team at the next SAFE board meeting.


The findings of the report will be the main topic for the 2016 SAFE Working Conference in Amsterdam in December, where delegates will discuss the campaigning opportunities in their own countries based on the report findings.

One of the most important updates is that SAFE now has a seat at EU Chronic Conditions Conference, which gets us into the EU Health Forum. The important news is that SAFE is now registered as an organisation that can suggest, comment and make contributions to new topics for discussion at EU level.

Mr Barrick stated that SAFE can impact the policy agenda, and also emphasized that the need for partnerships with others is highly important. He also shared the good news of SAFE getting the PR agency Weber Shandwick from Brussels to work for SAFE pro bono.

We would like to thank Boehringer Ingelheim for their continued support of the SAFE regional conferences.

Please follow the links bellow to read about each meeting.

Athens, Greece

Skopje, FYR Macedonia

Oslo, Norway

Krakow, Poland