The Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the European Union - Priorities for Health:

- Health security and in particular the proposal for a decision on cross border threats to health. To further develop activities in this direction, the Cyprus Presidency is taking into account the Commission’s initiative on this matter, as well as the fact that collaboration should not only be limited at EU level, but be extended to other neighbouring non-EU countries and international organisations. Consequently, an emphasis will be put on advance the discussions on this proposal and on envisage activities to promote the regional dimension of health security and capacity building.

- To reach an agreement on the proposal for the Regulation establishing the 3rd Multiannual Programme of EU action in the field of health for the period 2014 – 2020, the ‘Health for Growth Programme."

- Healthy ageing across the life-course. In the framework of the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between generations 2012, the Cyprus Presidency, taking into consideration the current economic crisis and Europe’s ageing of population, aims at underlining the need to review the structure of health care services and redirect investments for healthcare cost reduction. The Cyprus Presidency will further develop work in the area of healthy ageing by collecting evidence and highlighting best practices. It seeks to demonstrate that Healthy Ageing is a continuous process that requires the implementation of health promotion and disease prevention programmes.

- Organ donation and transplantation.

- Medical devices directive. The Cyprus Presidency will initiate the discussions of this new legislative proposal at the Council with two main goals in mind; a) to simplify and strengthen the current EU legal framework for medical devices, and b) to enhance coordination between Member States in order to better guarantee patient safety.

- The revision of the Directive relating to transparency of measures regulating the pricing of medicinal products. In March 2012 the Commission adopted a proposal for a Directive on the transparency of measures that regulate the pricing of medicinal products for human use, their inclusion in the public insurance health systems, and the cancellation of the Directive 89/105/EEC. The proposal aims to simplify the procedures and to replace the Directive 89/105/EEC, which no longer reflects the complexity of pricing and reimbursement procedures within the Member States. The Cyprus Presidency will both build on the work already done in the Working Group on Medicinal Products and Medical Devices, and initiate discussion with the European Parliament.

- The revision of the Directive on clinical trials. Following the Commission Communication for “Safe, Innovative and Accessible Medicinal Products: a new vision for the pharmaceutical sector,” as well as the public consultation on the revision of the clinical trials directive, proposal is expected to come out under the Cypriot Presidency. Work will begin on the Working Party on Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices.

- Negotiations on the proposal for Regulation on foods intended for infants and young children and on food for special medical purposes are also expected to be closed within the Presidency’s term.

The Priorities for Social and Employment Policy

- Strengthening social cohesion, placing emphasis on child well –being, the active participation of older people in all aspects of the society, and intergenerational solidarity.

- Strengthening the participatory processes and the involvement of social partners, local authorities and the civil society in the implementation of Europe 2020. In particular, it applies to the targets of employment, poverty and social exclusion, drawing from experience on best practices at national and European level.

- Following up work on the United Nations Beijing Platform for Action particularly on the indicators for Violence against Women, which is a major obstacle to the achievement of gender equality. A special focus on victims’ support services will be placed.

The priorities for Research

The Cyprus Presidency will continue the work towards the implementation of the “Innovation Union” flagship, including the realisation of the European Research Area (ERA). The Presidency’s main focus will be to advance the negotiations on the legislative proposals for both the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). The Cyprus Presidency will continue the negotiation process for the Horizon 2020 from the point reached by the Danish Presidency, aiming to reach agreement among the Member States in the four legislative proposals of H2020 package. The launch of the Commission’s communication on ERA Framework is expected to address these issues and serve as the basis for the achievement of strategic policy coherence and coordination of actions between EU and Member States.

- EPHA briefing on the Cyprus EU presidency Health priorities - Available only to members.

Last modified on August 31 2012.