On January 18, 2023, the Conference of Presidents in the European Parliament agreed on the establishment of a sub-committee on public health. It replaces the “Health Working Group” of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. While the talks on the subcommittee’s mandate are still ongoing, the new framework will give more space for discussion on the topics of public health and health systems, following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sub-committee will not have any legislative power and the members of the sub-committee will be chosen from among the ENVI members. The scope will likely span across a wide range of health matters such as communicable and non-communicable diseases, cross-border health threats and medical products as well as the functioning of the European Medicines Agency, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority.
This move represents a positive signal for people living with diabetes (PwD) as it highlights the renewed political will of the European Parliament to have concerted collective action on public health challenges. As a complex and multi-morbid condition, diabetes touches upon all aspects of a healthcare system. Improving diabetes prevention, management and care across the European Union will improve people’s quality of life, strengthen national health system, and help build a resilient European Health Union.
MEP István Ujhelyi, MMD member and the founder of the European Health Union Network initiative, welcomed the creation of the new sub-committee in ENVI. ‘The creation of the public health sub-committee within ENVI is a big step and a clear signal that MEPs mean business when they talk about the European Health Union. More effective policy action, coordination across disciplines and multi-stakeholder coalitions are needed to tackle the rising health challenges of today. The European Parliament is ready to do more for PwD and other NCDs in every region and corner of Europe,’ says MEP Ujhelyi.