Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

Archives for Health & Consumers

If von der Leyen, having health administration experience with her public health master background will not prioritise health within the new Commission then quite frankly, who will? The challenges Europe faces are complex so it is simplification to say that the background of the Commission President-elect shall determine the new Commission policies. But exactly because… » read more

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

Tobacco, a weapon of mass destruction. The most significant, avoidable health harmful product – which will kill you if you use it as it is intended, is still responsible for 7 million deaths worldwide (as much as air pollution) – and 700.000 in Europe. Since I stopped active campaigning in 2014 on tobacco until when… » read more

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

7 Health actions to make a difference – Open Letter to the new Commission President-elect Brussels, 25th June 2019 Subject: Suggesting 7 actions to your next five years plan to re-launch Europe by improving health Dear Commission President Elect, By the time of writing this, it is not known to whom that letter will be… » read more

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

Myth No.1 is that health is a national competence in the EU. This is not only a defensive and counterproductive statement but also legally and factually untrue: there are many policies, projects and initiatives, linking health relevant local, regional, national policies with European policies. The Economic Governance and the European Commission assessing national healthcare policies… » read more

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

I had the honour to contribute with the following editorial to the May Newsletter of the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) dedicated to ‘tobacco and trade‘. On 31st May, we celebrate the World Health Organization (WHO) initiated World No Tobacco Day which this year focuses on tobacco and lung health. While the health-harmful nature of… » read more

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

Yesterday, I gave support to a new initiative, dedicating a week to public health in Europe. Today this initiative shifts its focus on healthy environment so I am exploring why air pollution does matter for me, as a public health advocate. I'm glad to join the @EUPHActs #EuropeanPublicHealthWeek – watch my supporting video #EUPHW statement… » read more

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

Following my first event building public health capacity in Hungary in October 2012, an event about trans-fats organised by the Hungarian Permanent representation, supported by us in Brussels in April 2016 and a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) focused visit to Hungary in October 2016, this time I am joining forces with the Hungarian Alliance… » read more

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

As a Hungarian European citizen, this time is the fourth time I am voting for Europe. The difference is that this time the first time I have a very good cause to vote for and this cause is called: health. I will vote for health beacuse I am convinced that Europe has the power and… » read more

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

2018 was a crucial year for the public health campaign to improve European air quality, with the devastating health impact of air pollution dominating to a large extent the public debate. As well as the ongoing fitness check of European air quality legislation, new EU-level standards have been negotiated to limit not only CO2 emissions… » read more

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

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 Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

While all stakeholders – including key Member States, Members of the European Parliament from all political groups and even the Commission’s own Health Directorate – agree upon the strong EU added value of the Health Programme, reducing EU health policy to the absolut minimum post 2020 is still on its making. Despite the worrying signs,… » read more

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

(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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

(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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

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

Posted by Zoltán Massay-Kosubek