The principal activities of my Department during the EU Presidency are set out in a document produced by my Department. A copy of this document will be forwarded directly to the Deputy for his information. In addition to those activities, there are a number of dossiers which I will work to progress during our Presidency.
The priorities for the Presidency in the health area can be summarised as follows: agreement on the EU Commission's proposal to create a European centre for disease prevention and control; promotion of cardiovascular health; progress on the consideration of patient mobility issues at EU level; ratification by Ireland, of the WHO framework convention on tobacco control; progress on the EU Commission's proposals in the area of food law including nutrition and health claims; progress on the development of the EU Commission's environment and health action plan for Europe; initiation of consideration of a new EU health strategy proposal which to be issued by the EU Commission; introduction of the European health insurance card; promotion of the potential of information and communications technology in health (i.e. e-health) focusing on the area of public health and the practical application of methodologies in that area; and retention of a strong focus on tobacco control.
The Presidency events planned, and the work programme in hand, has as an overall objective to enrich our shared knowledge and experience, at EU level, in the protection and improvement of public health. I am particularly determined that these events should have a forward looking perspective, with a view to improving the health and quality of life of EU citizens into the future.