Brussels, 30 November 2006
“I am very pleased with today’s political agreement reached by European Health Ministers” said European Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou. “Improving health is important in its own right. But it also plays a key role in addressing challenges such as population ageing, security threats or labour shortages. Health has a role to play in achieving Europe’s full potential for prosperity, solidarity and security. The new Health Programme will be instrumental in reaching these goals. I look forward to working with the Council and Parliament to help discussions to progress rapidly.”
Improving health security
Under the first objective, actions will be taken to protect citizens against health threats. This would include developing EU and Member States’ capacity to respond to cross-border threats, including preparing for coordinated EU and international responses to health emergencies. This objective will also address patient safety and EU legislation on blood, tissues and cells.
Under the second objective, the Commission will foster healthy active ageing and help bridge health inequalities. It will also continue action on the determinants of health such as nutrition, alcohol, tobacco and drug consumption as well as the quality of social and physical environments.
Health information and knowledge
Under the third objective, the Commission will foster the exchange of knowledge and best practice in areas where the EU can provide added-value in bringing together expertise from different countries, e.g. rare diseases, children's health or any other important area. It will promote EU health monitoring and develop indicators and tools as well as ways of disseminating information to citizens, such as the health-EU portal.
Finally, the Commission has streamlined and incorporated some aspects of health systems co-operation, which was initially a comprehensive strand; it is now focused on cross-border co-operation issues and integrated into all objectives.
What kinds of actions are supported under the Health Programme?
Cross-European health activities are eligible for financial support. Suitable
projects must contribute to meeting one or more of the specific objectives set
out in the Programme. These objectives can be achieved by using a range of
financial instruments such as project grants, operational grants (there are no
such grants in the current Public Health Programme), tenders and joint
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