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Priorities for the Commission for Natural Resources  
The issues the CoR's Commission for Natural Resources (NAT) is working on this year include sustainable EU food policy, disaster risk reduction, cooperation and performance of health systems, health in cities and blue growth. The NAT commission met on 2 February in Brussels. The following is a summary of the topics that were discussed during this meeting.
  • Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. Adam Banaszak's (PL/ECR) draft opinion on the Action Plan on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 was adopted. On 13 October, the CoR and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) signed a five-year Action Plan to support EU cities and regions in taking more concerted action to reduce the impact of natural disasters. The Action Plan, which was signed on the International Day for Disaster Reduction , seeks to translate the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 into ideas for local and regional governments. The draft opinion stresses that consideration should be given to the possibility of supporting the development and promotion of local platforms on disaster risk reduction, as well as similar platforms at national level.

  • Cooperation of health systems. The draft opinion on Integration, cooperation and performance of health systems prepared by Birgitta Sacrédeus (SE/EPP) was adopted. The document focuses on how the EU should support the Member States and their local and regional authorities in their efforts to improve public health and develop healthcare, and how cross-border cooperation can help to develop European health systems. The rapporteur considers that adequate and sustainable funding of care is of vital importance in guaranteeing good coverage, access and quality, observes that chronic diseases dominate the burden of disease and generate the majority of costs for healthcare and other welfare systems and draws particular attention to mental health problems.

  • Sustainable food policy. The NAT commission adopted Arno Kompatscher's (IT/EPP) draft opinion Towards a sustainable EU food policy, whose aim is to address the issue of food production in a more comprehensive way, promoting more sustainable food production and consumption patterns and advocating for establishing a link between food and other policies including agriculture, the environment, health and consumer policy, employment and rural development. This opinion proposes initiatives and measures that will support EU food policy from a local and regional perspective. The members of the NAT commission called for an EU sustainable food policy which is democratically framed, designed with a common and long-term vision, based on the latest scientific insights and in line with a multilevel governance approach. Food democracy is a bottom-up process that has to start at the local, regional and urban levels.

  • An exchange of views on health in cities . Roberto Pella's (IT/EPP) proposal Health in cities: the common good , focuses mainly on the challenges to be faced in Member States, the development of urban systems and the principle of health as a common good. It is necessary to identify strategies for raising the awareness of governments, regions, cities and individuals as regards the importance of promoting health in urban settings. This opinion is in line with the Commission’s programme, which affirms that healthcare planning is of direct relevance to local and regional authorities, as it is rooted in the local area and has an immediate impact on living conditions in a city or region, whether large or small.

  • An exchange of views on blue growth. Christophe Clergeau's (FR/PES) working document on "A new stage in the European policy on blue growth" discusses the role of seas and oceans in the process of giving renewed impetus to the European project. The blue economy is, first and foremost, an economy with a strong regional dimension. Partnership with the regions must therefore be a priority for the European Union's maritime agenda, as blue growth is primarily a regional issue. The opinion will be drafted on the basis of previous Committee work on blue growth and innovation in the blue economy and will analyse maritime issues and the implications for policies and people, jobs and training and for the regions.

  • Rapporteur appointments

    Vito Santarsiero (IT/PES) – " A European policy on the seismic requalification of buildings and infrastructure and protecting growth"

  • A debate on the future CAP with Phil Hogan, Commissioner for agriculture and rural development, took place on 8 February during the 121st Plenary Session of the European Committee of the Regions.

  • The next NAT meeting will take place on 30 March 2017.


Wioletta Wojewodzka

Tel. +32 (02) 282 22 89

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