Job ad: European Commissioner for Health

09 September 2019
EU Hiring health commissioner

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Job ad: European Commissioner for Health

Primary Location: Brussels, Belgium

Job Function: European Commissioner for Health

Salary: Competitive with benefits package

Mission of the Role

The people of Europe are looking for a European Commissioner for Health for the 2019-2024 term to take strategic leadership of putting people and their health at the centre of EU policy-making.

Protection and improvement of human health is among the European Union’s (EU) core aims.[1] The EU has a mandate to ensure a high level of protection of human health  in all EU policies.[2]

Yet, in recent years health and well-being have gradually slipped down the EU’s political agenda, 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[3], increase the years Europeans spend in good health and reduce costs to society related to ill-health.

While the majority of Europeans want the EU to do more for health,[4] many people in the EU feel frustrated and have lost trust in the capacity of EU institutions to respond to their aspirations, fueling Euroscepticism across the continent.

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.

Role and Responsibilities

You will serve people in the EU and beyond by developing and implementing public interest-driven policies. You will set the vision and strategy for reducing inequalities in health across the EU.

You will also ensure a sound integration of the Health in All Policies approach across all directorates of the European Commission by promoting and protecting health in the definition and implementation of all policies, according to the EU founding treaties.

Finally, you will ensure the implementation of the EU’s commitment[5] to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals where health is  prominently featured.

Essential Requirements

The candidate for Commissioner for Health is expected to:

  • Prioritise the public interest over those of economic and financial actors by, among other things, limiting meetings with corporate lobbyists and ensuring that meetings that do take place are transparent;
  • Commit to the realisation of the right to health and health equity
  • Elaborate an explicit approach to deal with the commercial, economic, social and environmental determinants of health and ensure that people’s right to health is not for sale;
  • Fully commit to the implementation of the SDGs, most notably to the principle of “Leave no one behind’;
  • Demonstrate experience in implementing a lifecourse and gender sensitive approach to physical and mental health for all;
  • Commit to an inclusive policy process, meaningfully engaging civil society organisations.

Only candidates without conflicts of interest will be considered. Such conflicts of interest can arise when candidates–or their spouses, partners or family members–have financial investments or professional roles in polluting industries, pharmaceutical and medical technologies, industries or corporations that derive their income from the production and/or sales of products harmful for people’s health, such as tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy food, chemicals, firearms, or fossil fuels.

Portfolio

The portfolio of the future health Commissioner for Health will include:

  • Driving a Health in All Policies approach to promote a high level of health protection  at all levels of policy-making, including health impact assessments of policy actions;
  • Disease prevention actions, especially taking into account the commercial, social and environmental determinants of health;
  • Ensuring equitable access to high-quality health and social care for everyone, inter alia through effective implementation of the health SDGs and the European Pillar of Social rights;
  • Ensuring better protection of public health and patient safety through regulation of medical devices, pharmaceuticals and vaccines.

Additional Information

The EU is now striving to be an equal opportunities employer hence we particularly welcome applications from women, people of different ethnic, religious, and educational backgrounds, migrants, people with disabilities and LGBTI+ people.

Compensation Packages and Benefits

  • A generous compensation package, according to EU standards;
  • Transitional allowance at the end of the term to prevent any conflicts of interests with regard to the candidate’s prospective employment after leaving public office.

With this compensation package, paid by taxpayers’ money, we fully expect the candidate to defend the public  interest above all.

This job advert was provided by 44 civil society organisations from all around Europe, sharing the vision of a Europe where all people, in and outside Europe, are as healthy as they can be throughout their lives.
We believe strongly in a European project based on sustainable development and on Europe’s core ethical values: democracy and transparency, social and environmental justice, human rights, the rule of law, equality, and solidarity. We want European policies, rules and standards that do what they were intended: protect and safeguard well-being and health, ensure people’s safety and freedom; and protection of the climate and the environment.

[1] Article 6, Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union “The Union shall have competence to carry out actions to support, coordinate or supplement the actions of the Member States. The areas of such action shall, at European level, be: (a) protection and improvement of human health”

[2] Article 168(1) TFEU requires that ‘A high level of human health protection shall be ensured in the definition and implementation of all Union policies and activities”, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:12008E168:EN:HTML

[3] The latest Eurostat report on SDGs in the EU shows that in some EU countries the proportion of the population facing unmet needs for medical care increased between 2011 and 2016; September  2018, p.71, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/3217494/9237449/KS-01-18-656-EN-N.pdf/2b2a096b-3bd6-4939-8ef3-11cfc14b9329

[4] 70% of Europeans want the EU to do more for health, according to a Eurobarometer survey, March 2017, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/external/html/eurobarometer-052017/default_en.htm#health

[5] http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-3883_en.htm

This job advert was provided by 44 civil society organisations from all around Europe, sharing the vision of a Europe where all people, in and outside Europe, are as healthy as they can be throughout their lives.
We believe strongly in a European project based on sustainable development and on Europe’s core ethical values: democracy and transparency, social and environmental justice, human rights, the rule of law, equality, and solidarity. We want European policies, rules and standards that do what they were intended: protect and safeguard well-being and health, ensure people’s safety and freedom; and protection of the climate and the environment.