Brussels, 27 August – Coinciding with the start of business of the new European Parliament and Commission as well as the review of the EU’s long-term objectives (Europe 2020), EPHA’s 2014 annual conference aims to contribute to the European health agenda. The conference will gather high level speakers such as the European Health Commissioner, MEPs and former Ministers of Health to engage in a constructive debate on the priorities of the EU for the next five years.
Tectonic tensions – wealthy Europe’s fear of commitment
4-5 September, 2014
Residence Palace, 155 Rue de la Loi, Brussels, Belgium
"Over the last few years, EPHA Annual Conferences have contributed to debates around the key issues driving public health in the EU. Leading figures from across Europe will join us this year to identify what steps European policy-makers could take to ensure that the benefits of being in the European Union contribute positively to the health and well-being of all EU citizens," said Peggy Maguire, EPHA President.
Two issues will feature highly in this event:
The economic crisis has been raised back up the political agenda after ECB President Mario Draghi’s speech in the US this week where he stated that the “the most recent GDP data confirm[ed] that the recovery in the euro area remains uniformly weak, with subdued wage growth even in non-stressed countries.” In a remarkable u-turn he appeared to be calling for austerity measures to be reduced with less pressure to be put on governments to follow ‘balanced-budget fundamentalism.’ For proponents of universal access to healthcare this announcement could not come soon enough, but how will it be greeted by the austerians in Europe? Austerity measures across the EU have threatened social guarantees and deepened health inequalities. The first day of the EPHA conference will draw on the expertise of such high level speakers as the European Commissioner for Health Tonio Borg and the ex-health Minister of Lithuania, Mr Andriukaitis to discuss and suggest policy options to improve well-being in the European Union as Member States struggle to cope with unemployment and a lack of growth.
The European public health community is deeply concerned that decades of hard-fought public health gains may be set back if the TTIP is not negotiated in a way that protects social safeguards and health. These include concerns over technical barriers to trade, intellectual property rights and drug patenting, challenges to the way that the European Union and Member States regulate on food safety, chemicals, alcohol and public services. Complaints about transparency in the negotiations have been - somewhat surprisingly - addressed by the EU Trade Commissioners Karel de Gught’s recent support for the Italian Presidency initiative to persuade Member States to release the TTIP negotiation mandate. In addition, the swell of public opposition against the inclusion of ISDS in the Partnership has been boosted by opposition by Pascal Lamy, former WTO Chief and ex-EU Trade Commissioner who has publicly argued that there is no need for the Investor-State-Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism to be included in the TTIP.
High level speakers include:
Registration, photo opportunities and interview requests
Journalists can contact Javier Delgado Rivera, EPHA Communications Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or (t) +32 (0) 2 233 38 76 / (m) +32 (0) 484 919 156. A press package will available for journalists at the registration desk. Lunch will be provided. * Registration is mandatory.
* There will be a side event following EPHA Annual Conference - Alcohol Policy in Scotland Friday, 5th September (14:00-15:30). You can register here.
Who is EPHA?
EPHA is Europe’s leading NGO advocating for better health. We are a dynamic member-led organisation, made up of public health NGOs, patient groups, health professionals, and disease groups working together to improve health and strengthen the voice of public health in Europe.