My European Civil Voice - Zoltán Massay-Kosubek @EU_ZMK

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High medicine prices is a key public health challenge in Europe and Trade policy – an exclusive EU competence can improve or exacerbate the situation. Free Trade and Investment agreements can make easier or harder for European governments to change existing policies to curb the costs of pharmaceuticals. Following a civil society dialogue meeting with… » read more

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Brussels, 27th September 2017. – The Future of EU Finances has been taking shape in front of our eyes. After carefully listening to what was officially presented on behalf of the Commission about the Future of EU Finances, I tried to identify 6 guiding principles which I think will shape and shake the post 2020… » read more

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State of the Union and Health

Genval, 13th September 2017. – Despite the specific demand of civil society to prioritise health and the call of more than 70 MEPs, health did not make it to be mentioned by President Juncker in the State of the Union speech. He expressed himself strongly on equality of opportunities and mentioned that children in Romania… » read more

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(Author: George Thurley, Policy Officer Healthy Trade and Food, Drink and Agriculture at EPHA) Diet is the foremost risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs): the average European consumes too much sugar, too much saturated fat, and too much salt. The share of people who are overweight or obese has steadily increased between 2010 and 2014… » read more

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Health is a Big Thing!

Genval, 6th June 2017. – The European Integration is at crossroads, the EU is suffering from many crises, its legitimacy is questioned by populist forces and in order to respond to that what is the best idea President Juncker and his team could come up with? Bingo! Scrap the tiny health programme to alienate even… » read more

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Genval, 2nd May 2017 – Air pollution is a major public health challenge of our time. The public health context in terms of protecting EU citizens’ health and reducing the chronic disease burden and its associated costs to healthcare systems is a vital consideration in the debate concerning polluted air in European Cities. (source of… » read more

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Genval, 14th April 2017 – Harassment of independent and critical NGOs, attempt to close the Central European University, mass anti-European campaign called ‘Let’s stop Brussels!’, violating Human Rights of Asylum seekers and antigypsyism resulting segregated education are the recent scandals in Hungary. If you look at them one-by-one and together, they can be considered as… » read more

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Genval, 2nd April 2017 – The latest plans of illiberal Hungary aiming at closing the Central European University (CEU) can be explained in the context of the 2018 general elections. As there is no potent opposition, the government desperately needs permanent war rhetoric & a popular public enemy. Attacking science and research can however backfire.… » read more

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Genval, 28th March 2017. – Triggering article 50 tomorrow is one of the known knowns. The exact content of the future EU-UK trade deal is one of the known unknowns, while the in-depth health consequences of Brexit are still unknown unknowns. Brexit means Brexit (On the photo – Infographic from the NHS European Office explaining… » read more

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Genval, 28th February 2017 – I am convinced that nobody really wants Brexit because it hurts basically everybody both in the UK and in the EU. After hearing evidence, facts and data in the European Parliament, no one said any positive note on it. Nobody. Common folks, the King has nothing on! Brexit debate gains… » read more

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Genval, 15th February – Today, the European Parliament has given its consent to the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). In line with the usual European practice, CETA will be temporarily applied as from 1st March, a controversial practice which raises many eyebrows. This is a sad day for public health policy as now… » read more

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Brussels, 10th January 2016 – Many claim that the Grand Coalition (the legislative cooperation between the social and christian democrats) is ’dead’ but to believe it, it should be put to the test: the upcoming votes in the European Parliament on the approval of CETA, the EU-Canada trade deal will tell the truth. European Parliament… » read more

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Genval, 18th December 2016 – According to the tiny human health case studies of an independent impact assessment, TTIP will not harm our health at all. I am wondering: how can an independent assessment come to that conclusion? According to the authors of the study, its impact on the trade of unhealthy commodities (alcohol, tobacco,… » read more

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Genval, 27 November 2016 – The author, who is Policy Coordinator at the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) argues that trade liberalisation policy can both support public health goals and undermine them. The potential for economic growth and higher incomes enable wider access to healthier lifestyles, while increased availability of cheaper processed foods, tobacco and… » read more

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Genval, 20th May, 2016 – As of today, the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) has entered into force, and I was wondering whether we really understand what does it really mean for public health? In my opinion, the TPD gives the golden key for Member States to go further in the field of public health and… » read more

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Genval, 6th May 2016. – What are the 3 conclusions for the EU public health policy that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) dismissed the legal arguments raised by the tobacco and the electronic cigarette industries against the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD)? The ECJ has confirmed the validity of this key public health legislation which… » read more

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(author – Adolfo Costantini) Rome, 2 May 2016. – The recent leak of confidential Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) documents by Greenpeace did not cover the planned Sustainable Chapter and it is worth to reflect upon if increased transparency will help making Trade agreements sustainable. The adoption of Sustainable Development Goals in New York… » read more

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Genval, 24 April, 2016. – Disclaimer: These are the transcripts of an interview originally published on International Innovation (issue 163) in November 2014. The authentic version is available at the International Innovation website. How to improve the health status and life expectancy of Europe’s population while reducing health inequalities? Overview of my work as a… » read more

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Genval, 16th April 2016 – Ironic. While there are – at least – three, “low hanging fruits” type policy proposals on the table for the European Commission to improve population health in the EU, we can only expect a 1 day conference on chronic diseases. Talk shaw or real action, this is the question. ‘Towards… » read more

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Genval, 11th April 2016. – Because trade secret is so widely defined that it includes clinical trials data, and despite of vague exceptions, it can well affect clinical trials transparency which is key for patient safety and new drug development. There is no guarantuee that Pharmaceutical companies will not abuse it. Why are Trade Secrets… » read more

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Genval, 4th April, 2016 – Yes, it would, because – strangely enough – this time the industry is asking for more regulation: public health and consumer protection NGOs are united with processed food industry giants on the ban of industrially produced trans fats. Since this is a strange alliance of organisations usually having conflicting (private… » read more

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Genval, 30 March, 2016. – Disclaimer: This is the English translation of an interview made by Mihail Călin and originally published on 25 September 2015. The authentic Romanian version is available at the euro-health.ro News/Media website. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States and the EU are surrounded by fierce controversy… » read more

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Genval, 8th March 2016. – The European Parliament is about to vote tomorrow on a tobacco agreement between the EU and Philipp Morris International (PMI) and it is at least questionable that the EU’s intention is legal, ethical or politically correct. At the same bed with the ennemy? From a legal point of view, according… » read more

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Will TTIP Make Europe Sick?

Genval, 28th February 2016 – Right after the 12th Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Brussels negotiations round, it is still unclear if the deadly link between increased trade of alcohol, tobacco and unhealthy food and the growing economic and societal burden of Chronic Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) is recognised. While both side of the… » read more

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Genval, 6th February 2016. – I am afraid it is not. Right at the beginning, the Juncker Commission prioritised profit to the health of EU citizens, forgot about health when defined its 10 top priorities, weakened pro-health legislation and a weak mandate was given to the health Commissioner. What is more important: patient safety or… » read more

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Genval, 31st January 2016. – Is it really apropriate to raise this question, after the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee has endorsed a trilogue deal with the Council on Trade Secrets with an overwhelming political majority (EPP-S&D-ECR-ALDE-EFDD-ENF(!))? I think it is as I believe some of the key public interest concerns were not taken… » read more

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Genval, 27th January 2016 – While attending yesterday the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) conference on the precautionary principle in the context of the Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations between the European Union and the United States, I have noted quite a few funny statements which made me think further. Here are some of them.… » read more

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Genval, 22 January 2016 – Refugees have became the most popular scapegoat of European politics and the No.1 challenge of the European integration. While media focuses mainly on spectacular elements such as dismantling Schengen or emerging razor wire fences, little attention was paid to the health status of refugees so far. This is why I… » read more

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(author: Laureen Missaire) – The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a controversial international trade agreement, is being negotiated at this moment and will have some major impact on society and particularly on public health. The negotiations started in July 2013 and the most recent 11th round of negotiations have taken place on 19-23 October 2015… » read more

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Genval, 13. January, 2016 – The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) organised a public hearing today where civil society and business representatives had the chance to exchange views on the so-called ‘Trade for all’ EU Strategy. As regards Public Health, the EU Trade Policy has a major impact on our well-being and I did… » read more

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Genval, 11 January 2016. – Very little I must say. It would be very difficult to me to consider the current Commission Work Programme ‘public health friendly’ as its 10 priorities simply and elegantly ignored public health. One of the reasons why the Juncker Commission delivered so little for improving our well-being so far is… » read more

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Worms, 28 December, 2015. – Why is this a relevant question for a public health advocate? Because of the deadly impact of tobacco consumption on human health and the shameless behaviour of the tobacco industry, as regards tobacco control measures. Concerning the societal harm caused by tobacco use, let’s have no doubts about it: tobacco… » read more

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Worms, 26. December, 2015. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has delivered recently its strange ‘yes and no’ decision on the Scottish Public Health Policy called Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) of alcohol. The Court ruled that in principle a public health policy which may harm internal market and competition (a policy making the cheapest alcoholic… » read more

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Worms, 25 December 2015. After one and half year break I decided to re-launch my EU blog with a different approach. I will continue to share my thoughts about public health relevant European developments but instead of ‘blogging’ in an ordinary way, I decided to launch a public diary which will allow me to share… » read more

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Not always the biggest party gives the political lead. Securing political support is the Golden Key of political leadership. The same applies to the EU. I argue that Schulz and not Juncker holds better cards in that game. About European elections and the nomination procedure of the Commission President candidate The European Council composed of… » read more

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