January 11, 2016
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 the current policy madness called “Better Regulation”. Sometimes I have the feeling that we are still in 1984. The so called better regulation in fact means withdrawing existing legislation, axing or weakening new proposals (see the circular economy package) or no legislation at all.
My favourite example is the lack of the new EU strategy on alcohol. While the “Better Regulation” aims to please both the Member States and the European Parliament with less “red tape”, the Commission still has not delivered a new strategy to replace the expired (2006-2012)) old-one despite the fact that both Member States and the European Parliament call for it.
Exception makes the rule: the Clean Air Package – including the National Emission Ceilings (NEC) Directive – was not withdrawn only because of the strong opposition of health and environment civil society.
As I elaborated on this issue more broadly when I discussed Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) earlier:
Countries would have never reduced smoking prevalence through voluntary agreements with the tobacco industry and self regulation
I still do hope that our leaders will not fail us in 2016 and will deliver in the spirit of Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) Article 168: Health should be included in all EU policies.
Related earlier updates:Zoltán Massay-Kosubek