Magazine article European Social Policy

Health/swedish Eu Presidency : Cross-Border Health Care and Pharma Package in Limelight

Magazine article European Social Policy

Health/swedish Eu Presidency : Cross-Border Health Care and Pharma Package in Limelight

Article excerpt

Several directives, such as the cross-border health care draft and the pharmaceutical package' are now on the Swedish agenda. But the new EU Presidency will also have to deal with the influenza H1N1, also known as swine flu, since the pandemic might claim more victims during the autumn, the official flu season. On 2 and 3 July, national experts were to meet in Stockholm to discuss their experiences in dealing with the swine flu and the ministers of health will also take up this issue during their informal meeting, on 6 and 7 July.In the near future, member states could possibly agree on an EU-wide vaccination strategy, but according to diplomatic sources, it will be difficult for certain countries to give away their national competence in this field For the Swedes "good health is crucial for both economic and social reasons". A healthy EU population will be needed both in the long-term given that the EU has a greying population and faces short-term "challenges" like unemployment, say the Swedes.

They aim to advance the negotiations on the cross-border health care directive1. However, the recent progress report by the Czech EU Presidency confirms that a lot remains to be agreed.

The new Presidency is hoping to make progress on the pharmaceutical package. However, it will leave the proposed regulation (revision of Regulation EC 726/2004) on information provided to the "general public" on prescription medicines untouched until further notice. Over 20 member states have indicated they do not see this particular part of the pharmaceutical package as a solid basis for negotiation. …

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