Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


EMPLOYMENT, SOCIAL POLICY, HEALTH AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS COUNCIL (ESPHCA)

Letter from Rt Hon Rosie Winterton MP, Minister of State, Department of Health to the Chairman

  I am writing to inform you of the key issues on the agenda for the Health part of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council, which will be on 2 June.

  Items on the main agenda are: the proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 95/2/EC on food additives other than colours and sweeteners and Directive 94/35/EC on sweeteners for use in foodstuffs; Women's health; Promotion of healthy lifestyles and prevention of Type 2 Diabetes; Common values and principles in EU health systems; Review of the EU Strategy for Sustainable Development; Pandemic influenza preparedness and planning; combating HIV/AIDS; the proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on advanced therapy medicinal products and amending Directive 2001/83/EC and Regulation (EC) No 726/2004; and the proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directives 90/385/EEC and 93/42/EEC and Directive 98/8/EC of the European Parliament and the Council as regards the review of the medical devices directives.

  Health Ministers will adopt the amendments to the additives and sweeteners directives by Qualified Majority Voting. The UK fully supports this proposal.

  Ministers will be asked to adopt draft Council Conclusions on Women's health and on promotion of healthy lifestyles/prevention of type 2 diabetes. These were the health themes of the Austrian Presidency.

  Ministers will also be asked to adopt draft Council Conclusions on the common values and principles in EU health systems. These Conclusions will endorse a Ministerial statement on the values and principles that underpin EU-Health Systems.

  The UK supports the three set sets of draft Conclusions as drafted.

  On sustainable development, Ministers will be asked to debate the strategy which is being drafted by the Presidency for agreement at the June European Council. The UK's response is being led by my colleagues in DEFRA, and we can support the Health elements of the draft strategy.

  There will be a lunchtime discussion on pandemic preparedness and the proposed EU stockpile of antivirals for pandemic influenza.

  On HIV/AIDS, Ministers will be asked to give their views on questions related to the Commission's Communication on combatting HIV/AIDS within the European Union and in the neighbouring countries, 2006-09. The UK supports this Communication.

  On the proposals for legislation on advanced therapy medicinal products and on the review of the medical devices directive, the Presidency will present a report on discussions so far in the Pharmaceutical Working Group. The UK is content with the progress reports.

  Under any other business, there will be information from the Presidency on; the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on nutrition and health claims made on foods; the proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the addition of vitamins and minerals and of certain other substances to foods; the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on medicinal products for paediatric use; the Review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the Presidency's conference on harmful traditional practices.

  Also under any other business, there will be information from the Commission on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; the Commission High Level Group on Health Services and Medical Care; mental health; the post G-10 strategy for pharmaceuticals; injury prevention and safety promotion (on which a Commission Communication will be adopted this summer); and the EU Alcohol Strategy (due to be adopted this autumn). The Presidency and Commission will also report back on the recent E-health conference in Malaga.

  There will also be a progress report from the Presidency and information from the Commission on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a Programme of Community action in the field of Health and Consumer Protection (2007-2013).

25 May 2006



 
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