President message

Message of Mervi Jokinen President of EMA

Welcome to the European Midwives Association's newly-designed website

EMA was set up in 2003 to succeed the European Midwives Liaison Committee that was itself established in the late 70s.  It aims to represent the voice of all midwives in the EU and the wider European area.  Midwives in Europe want to maintain and promote opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing of women and their families.

Since its inception in 2003 EMA has gone from strength to strength and actively participates in several fora at EU level. This means working in partnership with other European NGOs, and it has taught us how the midwifery role permeates into diverse policy landscape and impacts on the health of the broader population not just women and their babies.

EMA is constantly scanning the horizon and our new constitution (2010) has expanded to include the member states in the Council of Europe as potential members. This is in step with the expansion of EU membership so that future accession countries have the opportunity to benefit from the support and experience of existing members.

In the context of the freedom of movement of people, goods and services guaranteed by the EU, the European Directive for Midwifery (2005/36/EC), first adopted in 1980 and later incorporated in 2005 to the General Directive, provides a European framework for midwifery education and practice.  This Directive now forms the cornerstone of the profession of European midwifery. The current evaluation of this Directive undertaken by DG Markt is crucial for the future of midwifery and its impact in the maternity care across Europe.

Current and future challenges for midwives and midwifery include human resource issues, freedom of movement, transparency of other educational programmes and the Bologna process. Future opportunities will include greater movement of midwives between countries and requires even greater sharing of knowledge, information and best practices in the form of twinning projects for students, educators, and researchers in midwifery.

The responsibility for this active participation rests with all of us in EMA - not the Board, nor a few individuals, but the associations and members that are EMA.

The strength of EMA lies on the shared philosophy amongst member associations and their direct sign in for improvement of the safety and quality of maternity care across Europe. We all are being challenged by the inequalities set by different health systems or service structures. However, challenged midwife can be a strongly motivated midwife and EMA aims to provide the platform for these midwives to join forces in standing up to this challenge.

I believe shared vision is shared strength and EMA is ready to stand and deliver.