On Tuesday, 10 September the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen will present her new team. Ahead of the unveil of the new College of Commissioners, Mental Health Europe together with 43 civil society organisations from Europe outlines the ideal profile of Health Commissioner.
Civil society expects from the future Health Commissioner to put people’s health and well-being first, to promote physical and mental health in all policies and to ensure that people’s right to health is not for sale. A candidate should have no conflicts of interest that may influence the independent performance of her/his duties. Although protection and improvement of human health is among the the EU’s core aims, in recent years, health and well-being have gradually slipped down the EU’s political agenda, which has been monopolised by growth, migration and security. Unsustainable economic policies and austerity measures have led to increasing inequalities. This has resulted in missed opportunities to decrease health inequalities and increase the years Europeans spend in good health. “In your position as the new European Commissioner for Health, you will have a unique opportunity to take a strategic leadership role in putting people’s physical and mental health at the centre of EU policy-making which will also restore confidence in the European project.”
Read the full text here.
Once the structure of the next Commission is unveiled, the commissioner-candidates will need to be vetted by the European Parliament during hearings in September-October. Civil society now counts on the European Parliament to make sure that we have a health commissioner who will put public health first and protect people’s well-being.
The initiative is part of a broader civil society campaign to ensure the next European Commission ensures a just transition toward a sustainable economy and society for all. A ‘job ad’ outlining the profile of ideal commissioner-candidates was published in July when the EU member states were putting forward their candidates. A civil society letter was directly addressed to the EU Heads of State ahead of the May 2019 Sibiu Summit, urging them to nominate right candidates.
Source: Global Health Advocates