Thursday, 9 December 2021

'A European Union for Health'

MEPs are voting on an aspect of the BECA Beating Can Plan later today. It has been described as ‘the first step towards a European Union for Health’. Most of the policy recommendations are fairly sensible but a few nanny state proposals have inevitably wormed their way in. 

I've written about it for Brussels Reports...

Many of the ideas in the draft Beating Cancer Plan, such as scientific collaboration on genomics and diagnostics, have great potential, but others are more troublesome. Proposed restrictions on cross-border shopping for tobacco and alcohol would undermine the integrity of the single market. The proposal for plain packaging of tobacco across the whole EU is baffling given the total lack of evidence that the policy has had any positive impact in countries such as France, Australia and the UK. Restrictions on alcohol advertising and sponsorship in sport would deprive players and teams from the top to the bottom of the sporting pyramid of much needed revenue while achieving nothing for public health. A ban on using e-cigarettes in indoor public places is outside the EU’s remit, but by recommending such a policy the European Parliament would be sending out the wrong signal to Member States and the public.

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