ASSET High Level Policy Forum in Brussels

Thursday, March 12, 2015 - 10:15 to 18:00

Avenue du Boulevard 17

17 Avenue du Boulevard

Tackling pandemics and epidemics is an intricate process, which necessitates effective interaction among many stakeholders. As this interaction must happen very quickly and under intense public scrutiny, preparedness is essential. The network of stakeholders can only be prepared well through building trust and good working relationships prior to the incident. In addition, identifying and discussing important policy issues and examining how they can be improved, can only be done comprehensively through considering the points of view of all the main stakeholders. The ASSET High Level Policy Forum (ASSET-HLPF) is intended to provide this opportunity at the highest level in various European countries. It is a place for stakeholders to meet, learn from each other, and come up with better policy proposals.

The ASSET-HLPF brings together selected European policy-makers at regional, national and EU levels, key decision makers in health agencies, the pharmaceutical industry, and civil society organisations, in a unique and interactive dialogue to promote on-going reflection on EU strategic priorities about pandemics. The meeting will take place on March 12th in Brussels, at the Thon Hotel City Center.


  1. Forge a partnership with complementary perspectives, knowledge and experiences to address scientific and societal challenges raised by pandemics and epidemics, and associated crisis management.
  2. Explore and map SiS (Science in Society) related issues in pandemics and epidemics.
  3. Define and test a participatory and inclusive strategy to improve bi-lateral communication aimed to succeed with crisis management.
  4. Identify necessary resources to make sustainable the actions after the project completion.


  • The Forum will consider and revise specific issues related to EU strategic priorities in pandemic preparedness, including communication and other responses.
  • The Forum may produce recommendations – however its primary role will be to create mutual trust, improve communication, and provide a “safe” environment to address questions which are otherwise difficult to discuss.
  • The forum aims to strengthening the perception that further dialogue among the participants is going to be fruitful due to increased insights into each other’s perspectives, and the sense that conversation between the concerned parties has intrinsic value.
  • The participants will not participate in any official position, but it is hoped that they might influence policy decisions in a variety of ways.


  • What and how can we improve (any) systems capacities to make European citizens (and their representatives) timely informed of the next infectious disease crisis?
  • How can we help them to identify trustable and accredited information sources?
  • What can we do to ease citizen’ access to correct and timely information?
  • What can we do to create channels to enable citizens to ask questions and receive timely answers from government officials and accredited sources?
  • How can we develop a European Scientific network to promote and support such processes?
  • Is it possible to draft a general strategy to pursue, in the coming years, the defined objectives through Horizon 2020?
  • What is the role of the European institutions in supporting this process?

Basic rules

  • The forum promotes dialogue, not debate. Participants are not being asked to defend their own views or to find the weakness in others’ positions, but rather to explain their own perspectives.
  • Parties speak for themselves only and not as representatives of groups, institutions, or governments.
  • Conversation will be carried out under the Chatham House rule: “When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed”.

Agenda for ASSET-HLPF Meeting in Brussels, 10:15 – 18:00, 12th March 2015

  • 10:15 – Welcome Coffee/Tea/Juice/Water with Pastries
  • 10:30 – Welcome by the moderator, K. Harald Drager, TIEMS, Belgium/Norway
  • 10:40 – Introduction to the EU project ASSET, and the Expected Outcome of the ASSET High Level Policy Forum (HLPF); Alberto Perra, ISS, Italy
  • 11:00 – Presentation of all the participants by themselves
  • 11:30 – From Tell Me to ASSET – How to implement Participatory Governance in Preparedness against Epidemics and Pandemics; Manfred Green, University of Haifa, Israel
  • 11:50 – November 2014 Implementation of the EU Directive 1082 – How to Transfer Theoretical Issues into Practical Applications?; Donato Greco, Zadig, Italy
  • 12:10 – Q&A and Discussion
  • 13:00 – Lunch with Salad, Sandwich Buffet and Dessert
  • 14:00 – Mission and Focus of ASSET-HLPF
  • 14:30 – Form of entity for ASSET-HLPF
  • 15:00 – Members of ASSET-HLPF/Suggestions and Contacts
  • 15:30 – Coffee/Tea/Juice/Water with Biscuits
  • 16:00 – Terms of Reference of ASSET-HLPF
  • 16:30 – Meeting plan of ASSET-HLPF/annually and between annual meetings
  • 16:45 – Budget and Financing of ASSET-HLPF
  • 17:15 – Summing Up/Discussion
  • 18:00 – End of Meeting

ASSET-HLPF Secretary, Thomas Robertson, TIEMS USA



MMLAP and other EU Projects

Health system analysis to support capacity development in response to the threat of pandemic influenza in Asia
Making society an active participant in water adaptation to global change
Public Participation in Developing a Common Framework for Assessment and Management of Sustainable Innovation
Engaging all of Europe in shaping a desirable and sustainable future
Expect the unexpected and know how to respond
Driving innovation in crisis management for European resilience
Effective communication in outbreak management: development of an evidence-based tool for Europe
Solutions to improve CBRNe resilience
Network for Communicable Disease Control in Southern Europe and Mediterranean Countries
Developing the framework for an epidemic forecast infrastructure
Strengthening of the national surveillance system for communicable diseases
Surveillance of vaccine preventable hepatitis
European monitoring of excess mortality for public health action
European network for highly infectious disease
Dedicated surveillance network for surveillance and control of vaccine preventable diseases in the EU
Modelling the spread of pandemic influenza and strategies for its containment and mitigation
Cost-effectiveness assessment of european influenza human pandemic alert and response strategies
Bridging the gap between science, stakeholders and policy makers
Promotion of immunization for health professionals in Europe
Towards inclusive research programming for sustainable food innovations
Addressing chronic diseases and healthy ageing across the life cycle
Medical ecosystem – personalized event-based surveillance
Studying the many and varied economic, social, legal and ethical aspects of the recent developments on the Internet, and their consequences for the individual and society at large
Get involved in the responsible marine research and innovation
Knowledge-based policy-making on issues involving science, technology and innovation, mainly based upon the practices in Parliamentary Technology Assessment
Assessment of the current pandemic preparedness and response tools, systems and practice at national, EU and global level in priority areas
Analysis of innovative public engagement tools and instruments for dynamic governance in the field of Science in Society
Public Engagement with Research And Research Engagement with Society
Computing Veracity – the Fourth Challenge of Big Data
Providing infrastructure, co-ordination and integration of existing clinical research networks on epidemics and pandemics
Promote vaccinations among migrant population in Europe
Creating mechanisms for effectively tackling the scientific and technology related challenges faced by society
Improve the quality of indoor air, keeping it free from radon
Improving respect of ethics principles and laws in research and innovation, in line with the evolution of technologies and societal concerns
Investigating how cities in the West securitise against global pandemics
Creating a structured dialogue and mutual learning with citizens and urban actors by setting up National Networks in 10 countries across Europe
Identifying how children can be change agents in the Science and Society relationship
Establishing an open dialogue between stakeholders concerning synthetic biology’s potential benefits and risks
Transparent communication in Epidemics: Learning Lessons from experience, delivering effective Messages, providing Evidence