Published on Wednesday, 24 September 2014Eurohealthnet, Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) and EUREGHA are organising a seminar on 5 November - "Tackling Health Inequalities in Europe". The...
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Health is central in people's lives and needs to be supported by effective policies and actions in Member States, at European Union (EU) level and at a global level. The area of health is essentially the responsibility of the Member States, the role of the EU, as laid down in European treaties, is to undertake measures to supplement the work of the Member States, whilst providing European added value, particularly with regard to major health threats, issues that have a cross-border or international impact and questions relating to the free movement of goods, services and people. Accordingly, a cross-sectoral approach is required and all Community policies must therefore play a role in health protection.
Secondly, the EU wishes to enhance the capability for responding rapidly to health threats. This is why it is strengthening the epidemiological surveillance and control of infectious diseases. Further aims are ensuring patient safety and the quality of healthcare to facilitate cross-border healthcare, as well as the mobility of health professionals and patients.
Health and consumer protection policies are particularly closely linked. The safety of products and services — including food safety and rapid food alerts — are key priorities here. There are other policy areas of particular relevance to ensuring a high level of health protection. Health and safety at work aims at ensuring protection against workplace risks, work accidents and occupational diseases. Environmental and health policies also need to work in tandem to achieve a high level of health protection. Technological developments and information society programmes include work relevant to health systems and public health. Regional investments in health are being supported through Structural funds with a view to contributing to reduce health inequalities between and within Member states and thus to foster social and economic cohesion across Europe. Several specific research projects are designed to provide scientific support to health-related challenges. The evaluation and authorisation of medicinal products is another key related topic.
On 9 November 2011, the Commission adopted a legislative proposal for the 3rd multi-annual programme: Health for Growth (2014-2020). The new programme will help EU countries respond to economic and demographic challenges facing their health systems and enable citizens to stay healthy for longer.
- 7th Framework programme on research – health is one of the main financing priorities.
- Regional policy – health has become a funding priority for EU cohesion policy, with more than €5 billion allocated for health projects from 2007-13.
- ICT Policy Support Programme and previous ICT programmes - to stimulate innovation and competitiveness through the wider uptake and best use of ICT including health.
- PROGRESS programme - established to support financially the implementation of the objectives of the European Union in employment, social affairs and equal opportunities, as set out in the Social Agenda.
- Funding opportunities in the Justice, Freedom and Security policy areas - they have an important aspect on health security preparedness.
- Sixth Environment Action Programme of the European Community 2002-2012 - it tackles environmental concerns and improving quality of life overall.
- DG SANCO (Health and Consumers) , European Commission
- Commissioner Dalli, European Commission
- Health EU, European Commission
- EPSCO Council (Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs), Council of the EU
- ENVI Committee (Environment, Public Health and Food Safety), European Parliament
- NAT Commission (Natural Resources), Committee of the Regions
- Interregional Group on Health, Committee of the Regions
- SOC Section (Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship), European Economic and Social Committee
- Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC) – implements the EU Health Programme, Consumer Programme and Better Training for Safer Food initiative.
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) – works to strengthen Europe's defences against infectious diseases.
- European Environment Agency (EEA) – provides reliable, independent information on the environment.
- European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) – supplies comprehensive information on drugs and drug addiction in Europe.
- European Medicines Agency (EMA) – protects and promotes public and animal health by evaluating medicines for human and veterinary use.
- European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) – ensures chemical substances are registered, evaluated, authorised and restricted consistently across the EU.
- European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) – provides independent scientific advice and clear communication on risks to food and feed safety.
- European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) – supplies information needed by EU employers and workers to address safety and health issues.
- Eurofound – provides expertise on living and working conditions, industrial relations and managing change for key EU social policy actors.