The Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union has published its 2014 health priorities including; cancer, vaccines, a review of measures regulating the prices of medicinal products and a wide ranging reflection on health in the Mediterranean area. The intention is also to work closely with representatives of the third sector, such as health care organisations.
It is stated that in the six months marking the start of a new European political cycle, the European Union can lay the groundwork for important progress in numerous spheres. At this juncture, the main challenges continue to be: recovering from the economic and financial crisis, delivering more jobs, strengthening the fundamental rights and helping Europeans keep pace with a fast changing world. The Italian Presidency of the EU Council is determined to address these challenges and to help the EU move forward. The European elections have demonstrated that there is a widespread and still unanswered demand for change in Europe. A fresh start and a radically new willingness are needed if we are to give new impetus to the European Project.
In the document published, it is explained that Europe needs reforms and innovation, which are major drivers of growth. This is especially true if the reform effort is wide-ranging at the national level, coincides with similar efforts in European countries and is underpinned by incentives at the European level.
As part of the actions mentioned, the Italian Presidency will promote healthy lifestyles and prevention, within the conceptual framework of the “3rd Health EU Programme", with a special view on cancer. Priority will also be given to vaccines as an effective tool for public health, and health research plays a primary role. Ministers will consider the benefits for patients arising from research and innovations in the pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors.
For precise details of the Health actions please see page 47 of the online document: