Members of the Executive Board,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Candidate Countries Montenegro and Albania as well as the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this statement.
We thank the Secretariat for presenting the report and for the informal consultations held last year and in January.
The EU and its Member States remain committed to closer and more meaningful collaboration with Non-State Actors, among which there are many NGOs that represent patients, health professionals and communities whom we, the Member States, should serve. We therefore support a more meaningful participation of NSAs in shaping the outcomes of the Governing Bodies’ deliberations. We generally support the idea of a NSAs forum as a potentially useful platform for interactions between the NSAs and the Member States, but one the other hand we understand that the details concerning the time, place, format and costs might require further discussions before the first forum takes place. We would also like to hear from NSAs directly their expectations regarding such a forum or any other suggestions on how we could cooperate better.
We think that an enhanced voice of NSAs during the Governing Bodies’ deliberations is needed. Given that the very heavy agenda of the governing bodies considerably limits the time for substantive discussion of particular agenda items, the EU and its Member States support a more strategic approach to making statements. We acknowledge the efforts of NSAs to make joint statements in order as their willingness to strengthen the messages these statements convey and to save time. We encourage NSAs to adopt a more permanent solution to help them to add their voice to the debate. Thus, we consider the proposal to introduce constituencies for NSAs on a trial basis as an interesting idea. We understand that such approach would result in giving these constituencies more time and better timeslots for speaking. We do not see any obstacles to try this approach out, if it gains enough support from both the EB Members and NSAs, before the nearest WHA. Membership in a given constituency should be determined by NSAs themselves and should remain a discreet decision of each entity. Again, we would like to hear the voice of our NSA friends on this particular issue.
 Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.