Magazine article European Social Policy

Social Protection : Meps Want Eu to Tackle Health Inequalities

Magazine article European Social Policy

Social Protection : Meps Want Eu to Tackle Health Inequalities

Article excerpt

Criticising the lack of ambition of the Europe 2020' strategy on the matter, members of the European Parliament's Committee on Environment and Public Health (ENVI) have invited the EU executive to propose an initiative supporting national efforts aimed at reducing health inequalities. By adopting, on 25 January, a resolution by Edite Estrela (S&D, Portugal) on reducing health inequalities in the EU, they in fact asked the Commission to examine the opportunity for a proposal for a recommendation by the Council (or any other suitable initiative by the Union) with a view to supporting integrated national strategies. "Health inequalities are a problem that we must fight against. They begin early on in life and not only do they persist in old age, but they are also transmitted to subsequent generations," says the resolution, bemoaning the considerable differences between - and even within - member states.

At the present time, the difference in life expectancy at birth between the lowest socioeconomic category and the highest is ten years for men and six years for women. In this respect, MEPs call on the EU institutions to intensify their efforts, all the more so as "the current economic crisis, in particular its effect on employment, could have negative repercussions on the health of the population". Among other things, they advise member states to acknowledge the importance of health for society and to use the GDP approach in order to measure the development of society, community and the individual. …

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