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Council of the EU supports NGOs in calling for alcohol policy

On 2 June, nearly all NGOs resigned from the European Alcohol and Health Forum as patience with the lack of effective action ran out. The resignation letter to the European Commission outlined different concerns, including the unwillingness to introduce a new alcohol policy and the forum’s lack of impact on public health. In the words of Nina Renshaw, EPHA Secretary General, the forum amounted to no more than a "free PR front" for the industry. Now the Council of the EU also demands (...)

European Commission Communication on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - the health perspective

On 2 June 2014, the European Commission adopted a Communication to contribute to the EU position on international negotiations on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as the follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Following the UN definition, the SDGs are intended to reinforce the international community’s commitment to eradicating poverty and supporting sustainable development - challenges that affect the lives of current and future generations. When the leaders of (...)

EPSCO Council adopts conclusions on economic crisis and health care

On 19-20 June 2014, the Employment, Social Policy, Health and the Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) held a meeting in Luxembourg. On the agenda were issues including the Social dimension of the European Monetary Union (EMU) and the health impact of the crisis. The EPSCO Council brings together ministers responsible for employment, social affairs, health and consumer policy from all EU Member States. Relevant European Commissioners also participate in meetings which happen four times a (...)

Contribution of EPHA to European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) Civil Society Liaison Group, Europe 2020 mid-term review

EPHA has been playing an important role in the liaison groups’ contribution to the Europe 2020 mid-term review within the framework of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Civil Society Liaison Group. “Europe 2020 is the EU’s growth strategy for the coming decade. In a changing world, we want the EU to become a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. These three mutually reinforcing priorities should help the EU and Member States deliver high levels of (...)

The European Commission releases country-specific recommendations for 2014

On 2 June, the Commission released the 2014 Country Specific Recommendations for 26 out of the 28 EU Member States. According to the European Commission growth has returned to the European Union (EU); public finances and macroeconomic imbalances continue to improve; and there is a modest rise in employment rates. The Commission proposes to continue to adopt structural reforms to keep the growth momentum - a strategy criticised by civil society actors that see the traditional growth model (...)

[European Council] Conclusions on Sustainable Health Systems - putting the spotlight on the health impacts of the crisis

On 10 December, Health Ministers unanimously adopted Council Conclusions on the Reflection Process on Modern, Responsive and Sustainable Health Systems, prepared by the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU. In the Conclusions the Member States acknowledge the core role of health for the economic prosperity and stress the importance of the principles of solidarity, universal health care accessibility as well as the horizontal principle “health in all policies”. (...)

Council Conclusions on the EU Drugs Strategy 2013-2020

In view of the forthcoming adoption of the EU Drugs Strategy 2013-2020, the Council of the European Union published in June its Conclusions on the Strategy. EPHA summarises these below. The Council conclusions on the new EU Drugs Strategy lay out the state of play of the drug use and its implications in the EU: heroin use is the biggest drug problem, cannabis is the most commonly illicit drug used in the EU, followed by cocaine, worrying developments are happening in the synthetic (...)

EPHA explainer - European Institutions - The European Council

The EU operates through a hybrid system of supranational independent institutions and intergovernmentally made decisions negotiated by the countries part of the Union (the Member States). Important institutions of the EU include the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the European Central Bank. The European Council used to refer to the regular bi-annual official meetings of (...)
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Council Declaration on the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion: Working together to fight poverty in 2010 and beyond.

In December 2010, the European Council adopted a Council Declaration closing the European Year 2010 on combating poverty and social exclusion in the European Union. EPHA called for health inequalities to be taken into account. EPHA regrets that the public health dimension of the declaration is very weak. During the year the European Public Health Alliance, together with other civil society organisations allied in 2010 NGO Coalition, was advocating for greater attention and strong political (...)