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[Water is a Human Right!] Commissio​n lacks ambition in replying to first European Citizens’ Initiative​

19 March 2014, Brussels - The European Commission (EC) published a Communication today that gives its official response to the first successful European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) which called on the EC “to implement the human right to water and sanitation in European law.” In the Communication, the European Commission does recall the importance of the human right to water and sanitation and states the importance of water as a public good and fundamental value and that (...)

Right2Water Citizens’ Initiative : A cross-party agreement on water as a human right

Three years after the Regulation establishing the European citizens’ initiative (ECI) , the "Right2water" initiative was presented on 17 February at a public hearing in the European Parliament. There was a cross-party agreement on the merits of such a positive active movement coming from citizens and so clearly expressing participatory democracy. It is now up to the Commission to come up with a concrete legislative proposal by 20 March 2014. After having received 1,680,172 valid (...)

[Water is a Human Right!] The European Commission Must Declare and Implement the Human Right to Water Now!

Brussels, 17 February - The first ever European Citizens Initiative (ECI) met Maroš Šefčovič and the European Commission services to discuss implementation of the demands of the ECI Right2water campagin in European legislation after having received 1,680,172 supportive signatures. As 13 countries had collected the minimum number of necessary signatures, the representatives of the Citizens’ Committee demanded that the European Commission recognise and implement the (...)

NOURISHING: World Cancer Research Fund International’s Food Policy Framework for Healthy Diets

The World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRF), an EPHA member organisation, has just published NOURISHING - an updated version of its Food Policy Framework for Healthy Diets. This publication places policies into three broad and interlinked domains: food environment, food systems and behaviour change communication. To develop an effective response to unhealthy eating, governments should implement policy actions from all of the ten policy areas. These actions can be developed and (...)

[Summary] Workshop on Cigarette Smuggling at the European Parliament

On 22nd January 2014, the Policy Department on Budgetary Affairs of the European Parliament organised a workshop on the Smuggling of Cigarettes in the EU and how it relates to the new Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) that will come into force in the coming years. One of the most repeated arguments from the Panel was the conflict of interests within the Tobacco Companies when it comes to smuggling. Among the solutions put forward by the speakers, the setting of an independent public (...)

[EPHA Open letter] EPHA contribution to the consultation on the Public Health Bill - Support from the European Public Health Community to the General Scheme on Plain Packaging in Ireland

In November 2013, the Irish government produced a General Scheme on Plain Packaging – a referral document that is feeding into a consultation process on the issue. The Committee plan to hold public hearings on the Bill, starting from 23 January. They will have eight sessions covering all aspects of the Bill – retailers, health professionals, tax and revenue, Health NGOs, lawyers specialising in IP and (despite protestation and highlighting of FCTC) the tobacco industry. EPHA (...)

[EU-US trade agreement] Would it benefit Europe’s public health?

In late October, EPHA attended a Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue’s (TACD) event intended to debate the prospective Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and US and whether and how it is to benefit the consumers on both sides of the Atlantic. The event brought up a number of crucial considerations to be looked into what relate to public health issues. In a nutshell, this seminar stressed that the TTIP is mostly a drive towards de-regulation and a (...)

[European Environment Agency - 2013 Air quality report] Try to Keep your Breath while Counting your Money

The European Environment Agency (EEA) launched its air quality in Europe report (2013) on a European Policy Centre (EPC) Breakfast Policy Briefing together with Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment. EPHA took part in the debate on behalf of the European COPD Coalition (ECC) as air quality has a great impact on health -and in particular, on respiratory diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). 2013 as the European Year of Air - The policy (...)

EPHA Working Group on Tobacco policy - 30 October 2013

The EPHA Working Group (WG) on Tobacco policy will hold its next meeting on 30 October 2013 about the different regulatory options of e-cigarettes in light of the ongoing discussion of the TPD. On 30 October 2013, the Secretariat will meet with its members to discuss the issue of e-cigarettes in light of the current revision of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). The Secretariat will develop a scoping paper about possible regulatory options. Members that can not attend the meeting have (...)

Final countdown - public health community calls on European Parliament to vote for a strong Tobacco Products Directive

The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) is not only one of the last major pieces of EU regulation that will be adopted before next year’s elections to the European Parliament (EP). It is also one of the last opportunities to make a meaningful difference not only in the health and well-being of people living in Europe now but also of that of generations to come. Smoking has devastating consequences; from outright death to chronic diseases such as cancer and respiratory diseases like (...)