The Greek presidency will take over from the current Lithuanian Presidency in January. Although the priorities have not been adopted by Council and will not be public until mid December, you can find below what very probably will be the final Presidency priorities.
It was highlighted that for any dossier to be adopted during this term there has to be a final agreement between the European Parliament and the Council by the end of February to allow time for procedural tasks such as translation before the last Plenary of the European Parliament 14-17 April.
While not every item is of relevance to VPH, it is useful to know which dossiers will occupy the majority of the Council’s time.
a. Legislative priorities in the field of health
- Clinical Trials Regulation:
- It is expected that the trialogues (negotiations between the Council, Parliament and Commission on dossiers) will be finalised during the Lithuanian Presidency, but if this is not the case the Greek Presidency will have its final discussions during early 2014.
- In either case it is expected that the Clinical Trials Regulation will be adopted in the Plenary in April.
- The second Trialogue meetingbetween European Parliament and Council took place on 13 November 2013.
- Medical Devices Regulation:
- The Greek Presidency does not expect to adopt this dossier within this term of the European Parliament.
- The aim of the Greek Presidency is to have a general agreement on a common approach in Council at the EPSCO Council on 20 June 2014.
- Fees on Pharmacovigilance payable to the European Medicines Agency:
- The Greek Presidency aims to finalise this dossier within the current term of the European Parliament
- The Council is very advanced in its discussions and is mainly waiting for the opinion of the European Parliament.
- The Greek Presidency aims to move forward on this dossier, on which there has been no progress within the Lithuanian and Irish Presidency.
- Tobacco Products Directive:
- The trialogues on this Directive will start in late November.
- The Greek Presidency expects to be able to conclude negotiations with Parliament in time to adopt this dossier before the end of this term of the European Parliament.
b. Non legislative priorities in the field of health
- Economic crisis and public health: The Greek Presidency will adopt Council Conclusions focusing on:
- Exchange of best practices in handling healthcare spending and budget cuts during the crisis.
- Proposal for EU level initiatives to overcome future crises and reduce the impact on healthcare.
- Migration and Public Health: The Presidency will focus on the impact of migration on the sustainability of public health systems.
- Chronic diseases in migrant populations will be addressed.
- New and re-emerging communicable diseases will be addressed
- E-Health and health innovation:
- e-Health Forum in Athens, focused on good practices and implementation of e-Health in Europe, such as the successful implementation of e-prescriptions in Greece.
- High-level conference on the implementation of e-Health and the Cross-border Healthcare Directive.
- Meeting of the e-Health network.
- Nutrition and Physical Activity:
- Adoption of Council Conclusions on nutrition and physical activity focusing on cancer, obesity and other chronic diseases.
- Conference on promoting healthy lifestyles across the life course with a particular focus on childhood obesity (on which Greece has highest number in Europe).
- European Commission to present action plan on childhood obesity in December 2013.
c. Remaining activities of Lithuanian Presidency
- Lithuanian presidency will propose Council conclusions on “Sustainability of Health Systems in the EU” to be adopted on 10 December 2013.
- Council Conclusions will follow up on 2 year old dossier initiated by Hungarian Presidency.