Conclusions of the EPSCO council meeting

12 December 2017 1379 Views

On 8 December 2017, the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council configuration (EPSCO) gathered and drew conclusions on the following issues:

  • EU pharmaceutical policy

Health ministers took stock of the state of pharmaceutical policy in the EU, focusing on future perspectives. The debate responded to the need to strengthen the balance in the pharmaceutical systems in the EU and its member states.

  • Cross-border aspects in alcohol policy

These conclusions focus on cross-border issues such as labelling, advertising through social media and the cross-border transport of alcoholic beverages. The Council recalled Article 168 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which provides that a high level of human health protection should be ensured in the definition and implementation of all Union policies and activities, and which also states that Union action should complement national policies while respecting the responsibilities of the Member States for the definition of their health policy and for the organisation and delivery of health services and medical care.

Jevgeni Ossinovski, President of the Council and minister for Health and Labour, stated: ” I am pleased that member states have sent a strong message today that public health takes priority over economic interests. Europe has the highest levels of alcohol consumption in the world and as a result suffers most from alcohol-related harm. Most of the tools to address this are in the hands of the member states. We have therefore focused on cross-border issues that could be tackled more effectively through better cooperation between the member states.”

  • Health in the digital society – making progress in data-driven innovation in the field of health

The conclusions will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

“We have worked hard during the Estonian Presidency to enhance digital innovation in healthcare. By providing good quality and safe e-services we can improve the treatment of patients and ensure that the health systems of member states are more efficient and sustainable.” added Mr Ossinvski.

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