Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumers Affairs (EPSCO - Health)

Mr Marijan Cesarik, Croatian Deputy Minister of Health participated today at the meeting of the EPSCO Council (Health) in Luxembourg. The first point of the agenda were the proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on medical devices and the proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on in-vitro diagnostic medical devices, which aim to ensure a unique, transparent, sustainable and efficient regulatory framework in all EU Member States. Deputy Minister Cesarik complemented the Latvian Presidency and the Latvian Health Minister, Guntis Belevics, on their efforts invested in the discussion over the past six months, which successfully let to a compromise among Member States within the Council on these two important legislative files. Croatia is of the opinion that this new legislation should guarantee European patients greater safety of medical and in-vitro medical devices and restore their trust in the operational work of notified bodies and competent authorities, without increasing administrative burden or cost. The ministers also discussed the harmful health, social and economic effects of excessive use and abuse of alcohol, which is, along smoking, unhealthy nutrition and lack of physical activity one of four key risk factors for the development of chronic non-communicable diseases. The Deputy Minister pointed out the importance of mitigating harmful effects of alcohol in order to preserve the health of our citizens, especially youth, reduce the costs of medical treatment of alcohol-related diseases and prevent any negative consequences of alcohol abuse for the overall society. At the Council meeting, a large majority of Member States invited the European Commission to create a new, comprehensive European alcohol strategy. Croatia supported the notion of continuing the discussion on alcohol policy at the EU level and to strengthen the cooperation between the Members States and the Commission, additionally expressing its willingness to contribute to the creation of the new EU alcohol policy. Croatia foregrounded the need for better cooperation regarding online marketing and sales of alcohol and marketing in general. The final discussion point of this Council meeting was the impact of increased migration from the Middle East and Africa to Europe on the national health care system of the most affected EU Member States. On the issue of migration, Croatia supported the Action Plan against Migrant Smuggling, which proposes concrete measures to be taken in compliance with the European programmes on security and migration. In conclusion, the Luxemburgish delegation presented its work program and its priorities as the next the Presidency of the Council of the EU, starting from 01 July 2015.

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