“The way out of the crisis is through growth enhancing policies and investment in research and innovation”. This is what the Cyprus Minister of Health Dr. Stavros Malas, responsible for the research portfolio of the Cyprus Presidency, highlighted in his presentation to the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) of the European Parliament, today, July 12, in Brussels. In his presentation of the Presidency’s priorities in the field of health before the ENVI Committee on Monday, Dr. Malas assured MEPs that the Presidency will work towards improving the level of health of the European citizens in collaboration with the European Parliament.
In the field of research, the main priority of the Cyprus Presidency will be Horizon 2020, the European funding programme for research and innovation for the period 2014-2020.
“Cyprus has taken over the Presidency of the Council at a very sensitive time which coincides with the negotiations of the new Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, HORIZON 2020. We are conscious of the task ahead and look forward to constructive discussions both within Council and most importantly to a close cooperation with the European Parliament,” Dr Malas said.
Additionaly, in the field of research, the Cyprus Presidency will place emphasis on the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), which is also part of the Horizon 2020 legislative package, the realisation of European Research Area (ERA) and the promotion of international cooperation in research and innovation, with a particular emphasis on the Mediterranean region. This last topic will be discussed among EU Research Ministers during the Informal Competitiveness Council on 20 July 2012 in Cyprus.
Innovative approaches in healthcare
Dr. Malas underlined that the Cyprus Presidency comes at a period where the challenges generated by the economic crisis and demographic changes lead to the need for innovative approaches in healthcare, able to effectively address all existing challenges and maintain high quality health services at a lower cost.
In the field of health, the Cyprus Presidency will attempt to promote the following priorities:
- Healthy Ageing across the Lifecycle, as a continual process through prevention, early disease diagnosis and health promotion in all stages of life, supplemented by the implementation of relevant programs for ensuring healthy ageing. To promote this priority, a related high-level conference will be held in Nicosia on 5 and September 6, 2012.
- The management and response to Cross-border health threats in the EU and its neighbouring countries with focus on communicable diseases, for safeguarding health at regional level. This issue was discussed during an expert level Conference organized in Nicosia by the Cyprus Presidency, on 5 July 2012, with the aim of promoting the EU as an effective bridge of communication and as a means of strengthening mechanisms for the prevention and avoidance of the transmission of infectious diseases in the wider European area.
- Organ Donation and Transplantation, as one of the most representative acts of altruism and social solidarity. The objective of this priority is the preparation, promotion and adoption of Council conclusions aimed at further actions, particularly in light of the forthcoming mid-term review on Organ Donation and Transplantation Action Plan (2009 – 2015).
- Innovative approaches in healthcare, both as a means of eliminating the administrative and financial burden on health systems as well of promoting health through an intersectoral and interdisciplinary approach.
The Cyprus Presidency will deal with a number of legislative dossiers relating to its priorities, with Dr. Malas expressing his confidence that the Presidency would enjoy continuous communication and constructive cooperation with the European Parliament.
"Even though the period of 6 months is small, we believe that in a good spirit of cooperation, we can make a difference. I’m sure that the strong efforts of the European Parliament and the Council can generate great work on all health policy issues to the benefit for all European citizens,” Dr Malas concluded.
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Ministry of Health
Research and Innovation
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