Brussels, 26 May 2014 - The European Parliament elections have sent a clear message to the European institutions: business as usual is not an option. It is delivering for Europe, not for people living in Europe, and at EPHA we question whether it is delivering for the health and well-being of people living in Europe. As dozens of millions of Europeans voiced their concerns in the ballot box, our European leaders cannot afford to keep running the European Union (EU) the way they have done for the last decade.
Voter discontent has translated into a shift in the make-up of the new European Parliament (EP). With the main political groups losing ground against, in many cases, extreme and populist ideologies, no one can say they have won these elections. The message from voters is clear: the EU is perceived as not delivering for people living in Europe and decisive action is needed by EU leaders to regain lost trust in the EU project.
We urge the new European Parliament to engage with people living in Europe. “As the results of the European poll tell us, excruciating austerity, widening inequality and an evident failure of economic governance have put off large sections of Europeans. They feel betrayed by their leaders. What once captured European’s hearts and minds, the EU project is today too often a source of frustration and mistrust. EU leaders and policy-makers must read the outcome of these elections and address people’s demands of a new Europe that delivers on peoples’ needs and expectations,” said Peggy Maguire, EPHA President.
Health is a key area of concern for European populations and must top the 2014-2019 legislative term. As EPHA states in its Election Manifesto, the new EP must bring the activities of the European Union in line with the priorities of its people. It is essential for both a democratic and accountable Europe. We need strong leadership and a bold vision to reconnect European citizens to decision-making processes in the EU.
The European Parliament has an enormous amount of influence over people’s lives in Europe. EPHA calls on MEPs to understand their power and responsibility and put it at the service of everyone living in Europe. Not doing so might signal the beginning of the end of the EU as we once imagined it. Making people centred, democratic and transparent reforms is the only option that we have to reverse the trend of a lack of trust in EU Institutions.
[EU Elections 2014] What will they mean for health policy for the next five years?
Javier Delgado Rivera, EPHA Communications Coordinator at email@example.com or 32 (0) 2 233 38 876
[Press statement] European voters demand urgent shift from business as usual (pdf)