My European Civil Voice - Zoltán Massay-Kosubek @EU_ZMK

Archives for Civil Society (NGOs)

Both Europe and Hungary were surprised one week ago by witnessing the third, landslide victory of Viktor Orbán, with unexpectedly high participation, resulting a consitutional supermajority. Were the elections fair and democratic? Is the Hungarian illiberalism democracy or dictatorship? What are the cornerstones of the Orbán regime? What about the weak opposition? What are the… » read more

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In the context of shaping the Future of Europe, the health community can bring the Wind of Change to the EU institutional renewal process by making the case for the added value of EU action on air pollution at European, national and local level, by pointing out the health benefits. Why is air pollution the… » read more

Posted by My European Civil Voice @EU_ZMK

Whatever is the fate of EU health policy and the Health Programme in the EU budget (MFF), it is crucial to avoid conflict of interests as regards decision about EU initiatives affecting citizens’ health. Putting health under the supervision of Directorates responsible also for industrial policy, trade or agriculture will simply not work and will… » read more

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It is astonishing that even the current, ‘doing less’ Commission which believes in no regulation and self-regulation, decided to act on countries breaching the air pollution standards. But is it enough to make a difference? How many scandals do we need until policy action on air quality is being seriously considered? Air pollution infrigements on… » read more

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Following the White paper of the Future of the European Union, the European Commission plans to make its proposal for the next, 7 year Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) in May 2018 with the aim of having an agreed budget before the EU elections in 2019. While the European Commission discussed with high level speakers including… » read more

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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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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, 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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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, 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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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, 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, 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

Posted by My European Civil Voice @EU_ZMK

We, EU citizens, definitively made history when we have collected first in the EU history more than 1 million signatures to ensure that water will be provided on a human rights basis to everyone. But will it be enough to reduce the EU’s democratic deficit? Will the Commission listen to us and make real, legally… » read more

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Sad, but true: Europe lost its leadership in the world, as regards tobacco control. Despite the not strong enough, weakened Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), Member States still have the opportunity to go further and put Europe back on the right track of tobacco control. (Source of the photo Official website of the Lithuanian EU presidency… » read more

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Electronic cigarettes will be regulated by the recently negotiated Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). E-cigarettes (nicotine inhalators) are both helpful to quit smoking and source of new dangers: long term adverse effects and re-normalisation of smoking. In my opinion, the regulation of e-cigarettes should be linked to have much stronger European tobacco control measures. What are… » read more

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The European Union crossed the Rubicon of Fundamental Rights. The outbreak of the financial crisis turned into economic then political, institutional and social crisis. Despite evidence on the table, social consequences of the austerity policy were not taken into consideration, yet. It must end now. I will share you my short narrative on the way… » read more

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In 2010, a Hungarian Law was amended to allow municipalities to ban homeless people from public spaces. Although this law was ruled unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court, the Consitution has been modified to allow prohibition of homelessness in 2013. I’ve collected 10 reasons why is it totally contrary to European laws and values. The incriminated… » read more

Posted by My European Civil Voice @EU_ZMK