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SĂNĂTATE PENTRU CREȘTEREA ECONOMICĂ, AL TREILEA PROGRAM MULTIANUAL DE ACȚIUNE A UE ÎN DOMENIUL SĂNĂTĂȚII PENTRU PERIOADA 2014-2020

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Opinion Number: CDR 67/2012
Rapporteur: TÖGEL Tilman
Commission: NAT
Status: Adopted
Date: 04/05/2012
 
• is concerned that the title chosen for the programme, Health for Growth, reduces health to a question of economic utility without focusing on people first and foremost;
• welcomes the general objectives of the programme;
• questions whether the allocated amount of EUR 446 million for the period 2014-2020 will be enough despite the increase in comparison to the preceding programmes. It regrets that the Commission was not able to agree on a much higher allocation, given the economic benefits of avoiding sickness-related costs and absences from work;
• approves of the provision according to which grants will only be released when there is clearly established added value for the EU; points out that this innovative added value should serve patients, and not just commercial ends with a view to cutting healthcare costs;
• takes the view that the cofinancing of measures should be regulated along the lines of the Structural Funds, so as to allow appropriate support for structurally weak regions;
• expects that regional and local authorities and NGOs also be included in the preparation, implementation, assessment and analysis of the programme, and of individual projects and studies.

The agreement on Health for Growth Programme has been stalled by the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020. Although the EP adopted its position on 3 July 2012, the Permanent Representatives Committee agreed on a compromise arranged with the EP on a draft regulation nearly 1, 5 years later, on 13 November. The EP is scheduled to vote on the draft on 25 February and Council should follow the suit.
An update to this impact analysis will be made toward the end of February, should the provisional timetable stay unchanged. Meanwhile, the comparison between between the CoR opinion and the EP report demonstrates shared concerns around the title of the programme: CoR legislative amendment 1 suggested 'Better Health for Sustainable Growth whereas the Parliament opted for Health and Growth. The European Commission in the meantime stopped using the provisional title in its press releases and other materials, replacing it with a more neutral 'Health Programme 2014-2020'. It is likely that the title will ultimately be changed, though not in line with the CoR suggestion.

The CoR and the EP agree that the financial envelope of EU 446 million over the 2014-2020 period, i.e. EUR 6o per year, could not have been seen as final, given the ongoing negotiations on the MFF and may need to be adapted. Both institutions believe that a higher amount would be preferable to make justice to all the EU's objective and commitments in the field of health policy.

Both institutions agree that the principle of subsidiarity needs to be respected. Regrettably however, the EP report does not explicitly call for a greater involvement of local and regional authorities and the amendments put to the Commission's draft focus more on independent associations and other organisations. Likewise, the CoR amendment introducing EGTCs to recital 16 is not taken on board.

Overall, the EP report goes much more into details, introducing specific point on rare and chronic diseases (particularly neurodegenerative) and on mental health. It put forward in a few amendments warnings around smoking, excessive drinking, bad nutrition, sedentary lifestyle and obesity and drug use. The EP also focuses on gender issues, which are absent from the CoR opinion.

The CoR welcomes in its report the provision of the draft regulation that only 'action having clear EU added value' can benefit from the Programme. The EP report enlarges the scope of potential beneficiaries to specialised networks, officially recognised international organisations and NGO in pursuit of the implementation of the annual work programme.
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



- is concerned that the title chosen for the programme, Health for Growth, reduces health to a question of economic utility without focusing on people first and foremost;

- welcomes the general objectives of the programme;

- questions whether the allocated amount of EUR 446 million for the period 2014-2020 will be enough despite the increase in comparison to the preceding programmes. It regrets that the Commission was not able to agree on a much higher allocation, given the economic benefits of avoiding sickness-related costs and absences from work;

- approves of the provision according to which grants will only be released when there is clearly established added value for the EU; points out that this innovative added value should serve patients, and not just commercial ends with a view to cutting healthcare costs;

- takes the view that the cofinancing of measures should be regulated along the lines of the Structural Funds, so as to allow appropriate support for structurally weak regions;

- expects that regional and local authorities and NGOs also be included in the preparation, implementation, assessment and analysis of the programme, and of individual projects and studies.
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