EuroHealthNet welcomes new European Commission nominees proposed by President Juncker

10 September 2014

The European Commission (EC) President has nominated the posts and the people that he wishes to provide the policy and governance leadership for the EU during the next five years. Interestingly there have been significant changes to the supposed portfolios allocated in information provided to media. Full details and links are contained here:

It must be stressed that the new EC is scheduled to take office from 1 November only after scrutiny and approval of each nominee by the European Parliament during September – October.

EuroHealthNet works for health improvement in all EU policies, so all the nominees are of interest. In future analysis here and internally for our Partners, as posts are confirmed, we will consider the backgrounds of key appointments, their remits, challenges and opportunities, and how changes being made to roles, portfolios and directorates will affect our priorities. For the moment we highlight the draft remits proposed in the three fields with which we are currently working most closely recently: health, social affairs and research.

  • Commissioner for Health & Food Safety

The nominee is Vytenis P. Andriukaitis, who is a former Minister of Health for Lithuania, medical doctor and Social Democrat MP, with whom EuroHealthNet has enjoyed working in the context of several EU presidency and WHO Europe events and processes. We are delighted that Mr Andriukaitis has facilitated new partnership links with the Ministry and agencies in Lithuania, and can already warmly welcome his nomination as a knowledgeable champion for health and equity. An unofficial biography is available here. His mission letter is available here

His designated EC priorities include food safety, pandemic preparedness, and health system performance, particularly within the context of the EU Semester process, on which EuroHealthNet is actively working with the EC and national partners.

Some changes to the responsibilities of DG SANCO are indicated:

Units SANCO B2 (Health Technology and Cosmetics), SANCO D5 (Medicinal Products – Authorisations, European Medicines Agency) and SANCO D6 (Medical Products – Quality, Safety and Efficacy) move from DG SANCO to DG Enterprise and Industry (ENTR).

Directorate SANCO B (Consumer Affairs) moves from DG SANCO to DG Justice (JUST), except for Unit SANCO B2 (Health Technology and Cosmetics), which moves from DG SANCO to DG Enterprise and Industry (ENTR).

The parts of Unit ENV A2 (Waste Management and Recycling) dealing with Food Waste, and of Unit ENV A3 (Chemicals) dealing with biocides, move from DG Environment (ENV) to DG SANCO.

  • Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills & Labour Mobility

The nominee is Marianne Thyssen, who is a lawyer and experienced Christian Democrat MEP from Belgium with some experience in a national ministry of health. Her official biography is here:

The Commissioner will work particularly closely with a new EC Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness. Designated priorities will include a new investment package to be launched this year; to streamline and reinforce the vital EU Semester approaches, to promote training, equity, social dialogue and include social impact assessments, and build better links with research and other programmes, all of which EuroHealthNet will be keen to support as we welcome Ms Thyssen to her new EU Institution, not least via our work within the EaSI Programme and the Platform Against Poverty. Her mission letter is available here

The EMPL directorate will change as follows:

Unit ECFIN B3 (Labour Market Reforms) moves from DG Economic and Financial Services (ECFIN) to DG EMPL.

The parts of Unit EAC A3 (Skills and Qualification Strategies; Multilingualism Policy) dealing with Skills and Qualification, and of Unit EAC B2 (Vocational Training and Adult Education; Erasmus +) dealing with Vocational Training and Adult Education policy move from DG Education and Culture (EAC) to DG EMPL.

Unit JUST D3 (Rights of Persons with Disabilities) and part of Unit JUST D1 (Equal Treatment Legislation) dealing with the Directive establishing a general Framework for Equal Treatment in Employment and Occupation, move from DG Justice (JUST) to DG EMPL.

  • Research, Science and Education

The nominee is Carlos Moedas, who is a former engineer, economist and banker. He has advised the Social Democratic party in Portugal and has been Secretary of State to the Prime Minister, working particularly on EU economic liaison.  His (remarkably quickly updated but still unofficial) biography is here

The remit continues work begun on the Horizon 2020 Programme but the EU Joint research centre will now be the responsibility of the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth & Citizenship. More focus on applied research is prioritised, and EuroHealthNet will welcome developments from the previous FP7 programme on which we have successfully worked, particularly in tackling societal challenges for wellbeing, sustainable development and equity. His mission letter is available here.

The Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (RTD) will have  responsibility for:

  • The relevant parts of the European Research Council executive agency (ERCEA)
  • The relevant parts of the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME)
  • The relevant parts of the Innovation and Networks executive agency (INEA)
  • The relevant parts of the Research Executive Agency (REA)

EuroHealthNet will continue to analyse, monitor and report this process to its partners and to liaise with all relevant new people and processes in the EU institutions, including those with responsibilities such as regional policies and programmes, agriculture and food, education and culture, migration, environments, transport, digital society and all the crucial new economic portfolios which will be crucial for health and equity in the coming five years.

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For more information about the new EC structure, click here