MEPs join Friends of Europe’s Informal Group on Health Policy

Brussels, 18 February 2016 – Friends of Europe today launched an Informal Group on Health Policy with leading Members of the European Parliament to look at key health challenges facing the European Union and ensure stronger EU action on health. Over the coming months, MEPs from across the political spectrum and from different parliamentary committees, will discuss questions such as new healthcare technologies and the sustainability of current healthcare systems.

As a first step, Friends of Europe is organising a series of three high-level roundtables on disruptive innovation for health. By assessing the regulatory changes needed, together with new business models and value networks, this initiative aims to build a holistic picture of how healthcare structures can be adapted to keep pace with revolutionary diagnostic and clinical advances.

The first such roundtable, entitled Disruptive models of healthcare of Europe – Re-thinking the regulatory framework to encourage disruptive innovation in health, was hosted today at the European Parliament by Philippe De Backer MEP. It discussed the vast potential of innovative healthcare technologies and determined how the present regulatory framework could be improved to encourage fresh thinking.

Health issues are currently discussed in silos, without giving a voice to all relevant players. The new informal group will give MEPs an opportunity to discuss health issues and make concrete proposals to support improved population health with all stakeholders and counterparts interested in this topic, not only those from the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.

Europe-wide surveys have identified health as a top concern for citizens across Europe. It is also an area where demand for radical change is gathering pace among stakeholders. In the lead-up to the 2019 elections, MEPs are encouraged to use the informal group as a platform for bringing their contribution to a debate that will have a direct impact on Europe’s citizens.

The Informal Group on Health Policy follows on from the launch last year of the Health Working Group’s final report Adapting EU health policy to an evolving Europe by Friends of Europe. The report outlined 21 key recommendations on what the EU should ‘Start’, ‘Stop’ or ‘Do Differently’ to improve the health of Europeans. The group also aims to highlight these recommendations and ensure their implementation at EU level.

Members of the Informal Group on Health Policy:

Philippe De Backer
Jill Evans
Elisabetta Gardini
Marian Harkin
Karin Kadenbach
Giovanni La Via
Gesine Meissner
Alojz Peterle
Sirpa Pietikäinen
Pavel Poc
Olga Sehnalová

Relevant background material:

Report of the launch of the Informal Group on Health Policy
Final report of Friends of Europe’s Health Working Group

For further information, please contact:

Jean-Yves Stenuick, Project Manager at Friends of Europe:
E-mail: jean-yves.stenuick@friendsofeurope.org Tel.: +32 2 893 98 25