Articles taggés avec ‘Health’

Eu funding: Achieving EU Health Strategy objectives should be easier in future

Mardi 10 juin 2008

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Grants awarded via the programme of Community action of public health

At today’s meeting of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) in Luxembourg, EU Health Ministers adopted conclusions on implementing the EU Health Strategy presented by the European Commission in October last year.

The key to achieving strategy goals and resolving other important strategic issues is intensified structured cooperation between the Council and the Commission. According to the Council President, Slovenian Health Minister Zofija Mazej Kukovič, “The increased commitment of the EU Member States and the Council to the area of health in the EU and in issues with an impact on health and health systems as well as closer cooperation with the Commission would mean real added value for the EU Member States. It would also ensure the integration of health into all policies.”

The ministers confirmed the proposal on reworking the mandate of the high-level group on health care drafted by the Slovenia Presidency in cooperation with the EU Member States. Through appropriate high-level representation of the Member States and the European Commission, this body would enable discussions on strategic matters related to health and healthcare systems, determine priority tasks, objectives and necessary actions at the EU level and monitor their implementation. Through its working methods and mandate, the group on health care would thus assist the Council in implementing its strategic role of addressing and defining key health issues at EU level.

In future, the European Commission is expected to actively support this strategic cooperation with appropriate contributions from all the sectors that may impact on health. At the same time, the Commission undertook to examine existing structures in the area of health and determine criteria for rationalising these structures to avoid the duplication of efforts and ensure efficiency.

At their meeting, the Council of Ministers also adopted conclusions on information to patients on medicinal products. The Council President, Slovenian Health Minister Zofija Mazej Kukovic had proposed a political debate aimed at identifying how to effectively distinguish medicinal information and advertising.

The ministers were unanimous in considering that information on medicines to which patients had access must be high in quality, objective, reliable, complete, understandable and non-promotional. The ban on advertising prescription medicines should be maintained, and interpretations and definitions as to what distinguished medicine-related advertising and information should be harmonised.

The ministers also mentioned the urgent need to develop models enabling activities in this field to be monitored and supervised, and the need to reduce the current differences between EU Member States in terms of the accessibility of information on medicines to patients.

Slovenian presidency

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EU funding: MEPs to vote on help for young farmers

Mardi 10 juin 2008

European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
Grants available for projects at local level focusing on the diversification of rural economies and the improvement of the quality of rural life, financed by the EARDF

While food production in the future is likely to rise, the future of the next generation of farmers is uncertain.

At present just 7.6% of farms in the European Union are run by people under 35. On Thursday Parliament will vote on a report by Italian MEP Donato Tommaso Veraldi (EPP-ED), which aims to make it easier for young people to enter the agri-business.
What is clear is that the profile of farmers is ageing. More than 50% of EU holdings are run by farmers over the age of 55, and 25% by farmers over the age of 65. In contrast only 7.6% of EU farms are run by people under 35 years of age.

The main goal of the Veraldi-report is to make it easier for young people to enter the agri-foods sector and, at the same time, to effect a “generation change” in order to make the sector more dynamic.

Young farmers - new burdens of farmers

The report notes that farms run by young people are on average more profitable and young farmers are more willing to adopt innovative solutions and use environment-friendly farming methods.

However, the changing nature of agriculture and the EU’s Common Agriculture Policy is imposing new burdens on young farmers, including high installation costs, resulting in heavy debt, a lack of available holdings and insufficient training. The CAP reforms also pose challenges, notably in meeting cross-compliance requirements - this is the requirement that farmers must meet minimum ecological standards or lose subsidies.

The report, adopted by Parliament’s Agriculture Committee on 6 May calls for young farmers to “take up the challenges arising as a result of more open world markets”. It also wants them to be more aware of the impact of climate change and says they should be made aware of their responsibilities with regard to combating climate change.

Better tools for farmers

The report also calls for the development of policies that give priority to helping young people to gain entry to a multifunctional farming sector. It also stresses the need for young farmers to be able to access information and tools enabling them to analyse market trends.

Next Monday 9 June, the Agriculture Committee will organise a public hearing on the CAP Health Check which aims to modernise and simplify the CAP and make the market more competitive.

European Parliament

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EU Funding: World No Tobacco Day: EU Tobacco Advertising Ban Effective, concludes EU report

Vendredi 30 mai 2008

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Grants awarded via the programme of Community action of public health

Less than three years after its entry into force the EU advertising ban has proven its effectiveness. This is the conclusion of the Commission report on the performance of the Tobacco Advertising Directive

Today, all Member States have transposed the Directive and tobacco brand advertising in the press aimed at the general public has virtually disappeared. Direct tobacco sponsorship of cross-border sports and other events within the EU has also ceased. The key challenge in the tobacco advertising ban has shifted to the internet which is difficult to control. The Commission is working with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to strengthen advertising bans at global level, to ensure that the EU ban is not undermined from the outside.

Ban on cross-border tobacco advertising and sponsorship

The EU has a wide ban on cross-border tobacco advertising and sponsorship that covers all forms of media from the traditional print media, television and radio to new technologies such as the internet. There is also a full ban on tobacco sponsorship of cross-border sports and other events, such as the European Football Championships or Formula One races.

The long history of tobacco sponsorship and Formula One has come to an end. This is a direct result of the EU Tobacco Advertising ban. So far, in 2008, no tobacco brands have been visible in Formula One Grand Prix races. To take a recent example, no tobacco sponsorship was visible in the Formula One races that took place last weekend in Monaco. Commissioner Vassiliou has urged the organisers and participants of Formula One to ensure that tobacco advertising shall not be present in the races in the future as well.

Comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising coupled with high taxes are the most effective ways to reduce tobacco consumption and its harmful effects on health.

New Challenges

The report finds that the ‘virtual’ environment is a new form of cross-border tobacco advertising. It offers new possibilities to glamorize tobacco. It is difficult to control as wrongdoers can easily close sites and relocate outside the EU.

The Commission seeks to improve the cross-border enforcement of tobacco advertising using the internet in close co-operation with Member States.

The Commission supports the introduction of tobacco advertising and sponsorship bans at a global level in the context of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in order to prevent incoming advertising from third countries which undermines the EU ban.

Youth and Tobacco Prevention Event - 28 May, Place Agora, Brussels

This years World No Tobacco Day (31 May) focuses on tobacco free youth with a special view on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship bans. The EC funded ‘HELP – for a life without Tobacco’ campaign, aimed at young people (15-25 years) kicked off this years World No Tobacco Day event on 28 May in Brussels with the participation of Commissioner Vassiliou and the Mayor of Brussels, Mr. Freddy Thielemans.


Tobacco remains the largest single cause of premature death and disease in the European Union. It causes more than 660,000 premature deaths within the EU each year – which corresponds to about 1,800 deaths a day. These deaths could be avoided.

In order to curb this epidemic, the European Community, over the last 20 years, has pursued a comprehensive tobacco control policy aiming at fighting against tobacco consumption and reducing the number of smokers. The objective is to maintain and strengthen tobacco control policy efforts though a range of mechanisms, activities and initiatives including tobacco control legislation and prevention and cessation activities.

Press room - european Commission
  More information:
HELP - for a life without tobacco campaign

Boost the competitiveness of Europe’s pharmaceutical industry

Mercredi 30 avril 2008

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Grants awarded via the programme of Community action of public health
 Grants for research projects concerning the treatment of major diseases and the delivery of health care

The European Commission and the pharmaceutical industry began work today on implementing the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI).

IMI aims to remove severe bottlenecks in the drug development process through innovative research projects, hence to accelerate the discovery and development of new medicines. It will launch later this year promising research projects in the areas of brain disorders, metabolic and inflammatory diseases. IMI is a unique public-private partnership between the European Commission and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).

The drug development for a new chemical or biological candidate is estimated to cost over one million euros and takes on average 12,5 years to bring a new medicine to the market. Out of every 10,000 substances synthesized in laboratories, only one or two will successfully pass all the stages to become marketable medicines. This project is all the more important as Europe was once known as the “world’s pharmacy” with until 1998 ago 7 out of 10 new medicines originated from Europe. Today this has fallen to about 3 out of 10.

IMI will boost Europe’s competitiveness in biopharmaceutical innovation and foster Europe as the most attractive place for pharmaceutical R&D. The pharmaceutical industry is a knowledge based sector that has a huge impact on employment for highly trained people. It provides Europe with high skilled jobs - in 2004 more than 612,000 with 103,000 employees in the research area. Europe produces more than 35 % of the world’s pharmaceutical output, worth some €161billion, making it the second manufacturing location after the US.

IMI brings together experts from the laboratory and the clinic working on new approaches to better predict as early as possible whether a drug works in a patient and whether it is safe. Earlier access to new treatments is the ultimate goal of this joint initiative.

IMI has a total budget of € 2 billion until 2013. In 2008 grants of € 123 million will be handed to the most promising research projects in the areas of brain disorders, metabolic and inflammatory diseases. In future calls IMI will also cover cancer and infectious diseases. These areas have been chosen because they are, primarily, important areas of unmet medical need, affecting the lives of millions of European citizens.

Press Room - European Commission

Cancer: MEPs call for EU cancer task force to be set up

Mardi 22 avril 2008

The European Parliament adopts recommandations in a resolution on combating cancer in an enlarged European Union.