Two Programs from the Commission on Health and Consumers
On November 9, 2011, the European Commission adopted proposals for two action programs in support of health and consumers. The programs are anticipated to run from 2014 until 2020, with budgets of €446 million and €197 million respectively. Their goal is to “foster a Europe of healthy, active, informed and empowered citizens, who can contribute to economic growth”.
The health program, entitled “Health for Growth”, aims to support and complement the work of Member States around a limited number of concrete actions in pursuit of the following four objectives:
• Developing innovative and sustainable health systems;
• Increasing access to better and safer healthcare for citizens;
• Promoting health and preventing disease;
• Protecting citizens from cross-border health threats.
According to John Dally, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, the goal of these programs is to keep European citizens “healthy and active for longer”, which “is good for people and good for jobs and growth”. He says that “the two programs will make a significant contribution to achieving Europe 2020 goals – to create smart, sustainable and inclusive growth by the end of this decade”.
These proposals will now be discussed by the European Parliament and Council of Ministers, with a view to adoption by the end of 2013. This will allow the new “Health” and “Consumer” programs to begin in 2014.