Dr Antonios Trakatellis and Fr Stavros Kofinas
July 6, 2005
Dr. Antonios Trakatellis
Vice-President of the European Parliament
Honorable Dr. Trakatellis,
On behalf of all the participants of the European Network of Health Care Chaplaincy, I would like to thank you for the opportunity in meeting with you in Brussels on the 21st of June. Our meeting was most informative. I was especially impressed by the fact that you had read all my past letters concerning the ENHCC and that you were well aware of the issues that I presented to you.
During our meeting you focused on two prospects: 1) that of the newly passed law on competition within the internal market 2) getting a EU grant from SANCO for a research project. As for the first prospect, I have obtained the law and will review it with the members of the Network Committee. Mr. Margaretis Schinas, Director of the EU Commissioner’s Office of Public Health, also suggested the second prospect, receiving a SANCO grant. I am now looking into the ENHCC becoming an NGO, which will help in this process.
I found your guidance regarding EU legislation and national legislation also very helpful. You pointed out that the EU cannot “make laws” for each country and that we as a Network must help each national organization in influencing their own national parliaments to look at this important issue as well. As you suggested, I too will suggest that at the up coming ENHCC consultation that will take place in Lisbon in May of 2006, we discuss the common guidelines each national organization should use to introduce the European Standards of Health Care Chaplaincy in their own country’s government.
You asked that I inform you about our meeting with Mr. Schinas. The meeting was very productive in every way and I believe we opened a good and open line of communication and cooperation. He informed us that Ms. Nina Akkilidou, from Cyrpus, is presently doing a study for the Commissioner’s office on the components of palliative care in the EU. He suggested that we come in contact with her so that spiritual health care can be included in her study. Mr. Schinas was to inform Ms. Akkilidou this past week of this, and I plan on getting in contact with her immediately. He also suggested broadening our informative efforts within the EU, possibly informing other members of the EPP. I am sure that when the time comes, you will be able to help in this effort.
Both Dr. Weninger and Mr. Schinas were very open to the prospect of organizing a conjoint meeting with you, together with other members of the EU Parliament and the ENHCC. We can discuss this prospect after the summer.
Before concluding our conversation, you suggested that there were “other things that can be done” within the framework of the EU and that we can discuss these in the future as things progress. The sincerity and sensitivity you showed during our meeting and your willingness to help in every way gives all of us who participate in the ENHCC the hope that you will continue to be a guide in our efforts.
With great respect,
Rev. Dr. Stavros Kofinas
Coordinator of the European Network of Healthcare Chaplaincy
(Representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate)