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EPHA warns that health priorities must not be forgotten in the new, streamlined Semester process

Brussels, 1 June 2015 - On 13 May the European Commission issued the 2015 Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs) – the centrepiece of the European Semester process – and the first recommendations to be issued by the Juncker Commission (1). In line with the new Commission’s revision of the Semester process, the scope of the CSRs is substantially reduced, focusing on a number of specific issue areas where implementation can be concretely measures and is expected to (...)

EPHA joins call for full lobby transparency

In an initiative led by the the campaign organisation ALTER-EU, over 100 NGOs urge the European Commission to take strong and urgent action to create a high-quality and legally-binding EU lobby transparency register. A letter sent by the campaign to First Vice-President Timmermans reads as follows: "This issue is really important to us. Lobby transparency is vital to reduce unethical lobbying and also to begin to ensure a better balance between corporate and public interest groups in (...)

Smart Regulation: advancing economic competitiveness above the public interest?

The Council of the European Union adopted conclusions on Smart Regulation in December 2014, which re-emphasise that EU regulation is needed to achieve agreed EU policy goals. However, the conclusions call for regulation at minimum cost, while protecting and promoting competitiveness, growth and jobs, as a first priority, whilst merely asking for “due consideration” for protection of consumers, health, the environment and employees. The Council stresses that European regulation (...)

[EPHA Analysis] Health in the 2015 EU Draft Budgetary Plans

The EU’s new economic governance framework requires, under Regulation No. 473/2013, that the countries of the euro area submit their draft budgetary plans to the European Commission each year by 15 October. In this document, EPHA provides a first-look analysis of the draft budgetary reports submitted this year. This is the first analysis of the draft budgetary plans that EPHA has undertaken. The draft budgetary monitoring procedure is a crucial element of the EU’s economic (...)

**UPDATE** Economic governance issues top agendas in a week of committee meetings

October 2014 - Recent weeks have seen meetings of many of the European Parliament’s committees and several configurations of the Council of Ministers of the EU. In most of these meetings, economic governance issues - in particular the mid-term review of the Europe 2020 Strategy and the European Semester - have been high on the agenda, with a number of implications for health. On Monday 13 October the Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) voted to adopt (...)

EPHA response to the European Commission consultation on Corporate Social Responsibility

22 August 2014 - Over the summer of 2014, the European Commission consulted stakeholders on their Corporate Social Responsibility 2011-2014 strategy: achievements, shortcomings and future challenges. Given the concept of CSR, as part of a wider Smart Regulation agenda, closely linked to other regulatory mechanisms, such as self- and co-regulation, EPHA analysed the notion of CSR, its potential and possible threat to comprehensive public policy making, for the benefit - or harm - of public (...)

EPHA signs up to joint-statement on Conflict of Interest - UN General Assembly review on non-communicable disease (NCDs) review

As UN General Assembly renewed commitments to tackle non-communicable disease (NCDs) at its meeting in New York on 10 and 11 July, more than 160 international non-profit public interest groups and experts (including EPHA) submitted a joint statement calling for public health legal safeguards. The statement related to commercial trade agreements safeguards and protections against conflicts of interest in the policy development and agenda-setting of government organisations, especially (...)

[EPHA statement] On-going review of European Food Safety Authority 2012 implementing rules of the Declaration of Interests Policy

On 15 December 2011, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Management Board adopted its Authority’s Policy on independence and scientific decision-making processes. A few months later EFSA’s Executive Director signed off a set of implementing rules on Declarations of Interests (DoIs). These rules regulate the way EFSA should process DoIs and prevent the occurrence of conflicts of interests. Background The current system of declarations of interests and their subsequent (...)

EU Parliament inquiry on the Troika - implications of policy change in member states’ welfare

On 7 January the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL) of the European Parliament started a hearing regarding the consequences of Troika policies on the Member States affected by the bailout (Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus). This Committee has drafted a report that voices concerns about the negative social implications on the populations of these countries, especially the most vulnerable. Social benefits, wages and health expenditure among other things have been drastically (...)

66th World Health Assembly approves Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020

The Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020, aiming at promoting mental well-being, preventing mental disorders and reducing their burden, was approved during the annual Health Assembly that took place in Geneva between 20-28 May 2013. Health systems are failing worldwide in satisfactorily dealing with the burden of mental disorders. In low and middle-income countries, between 76% and 85% of people with severe conditions receive no treatment; for high-income countries, that range is reduced to (...)