A couple of days ago the European Parliament strengthened the current European regulation on tobacco by endorsing an agreement for a new EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), reached with the Council last December. Just after the Parliament’s vote, EPHA issued a press statement encouraging EU member states to reinforce their tobacco control measures following examples from progressive global leaders in tobacco control. In our statement, we called the European Council to endorse the TPD without delay – the only step left for it to become a directive.

Earlier this month, EPHA attended a public hearing in the European Parliament on the "Right2water" European citizens’ initiative (ECI) – of which EPHA is a supporting organisation. After having received 1,680,172 valid statements, representatives of this Citizens’ Committee demanded that the European Commission recognise and implement, under EU legislation, the right to water and sanitation for all. The Commission will come up with a concrete legislative proposal on 20 March.

This month, we also launched the invitation for a joint debate on the role that patients should play in creating innovative, affordable and quality technologies and products for poverty-related and neglected diseases. This event will discuss how to promote the alignment of patients’ and populations’ unmet needs with product innovations and development. You have until March 6 to register.

A few weeks ago, EPHA sent an open letter to the European Council to urge it to uphold governments’ right to protect the health of their citizens before the vested interests of the industry. In another open letter, and as the European Commission finalises its Communication on the future of justice and home affairs policies, EPHA joined several organisations in support of a more coherent and rights-based policy approach towards migrant children and children’s rights.

I would also like to call your attention to an article contribution that Emma Woodford, Board Member of EPHA, wrote for the Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) workshop ‘Changing the conversation on growth’. In her article, entitled ’Delivering on inclusive growth through citizenship engagement’, Ms Woodford argues that there is growing recognition about the need to tackle inequality and elaborates on why engaging citizens in policy making and in achieving inclusive growth is a win-win solution.

Last but not least, I would like to announce that the EPHA manifesto for the European Parliament elections will be launched next week. In our manifesto, we call on political parties and individual Members of the European Parliament (MEP) candidates to ensure that health and well-being in Europe are ranked as high as they are valued. Stay tuned to our EPHA website for more updates!

Peggy Maguire, EPHA President

Read all the online articles from our FEBRUARY 2014 NEWSLETTER

Other highlights from previous weeks:

- Post-2015: The role of Global Health Research and Development (R&D) in the new development framework

EPHA MEMBERS can find the following new information in the members-only section.

Last modified on February 28 2014.