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Environment and health policy update - March 2010

Environment and Health Policy developments - An overview of policy developments in the EU. For more information please contact Anne Stauffer.

On 3rd March the European Commission published its 2020 Strategy that sets out a vision of Europe’s social market economy for the 21st century. Five headline targets for 2020 are proposed: meeting the EU’s energy efficiency and climate targets; increasingly employment to 75%; increasing investment for research to 3%, reducing those living in poverty by 20 million, and increasing number and levels of young people completing education. The Commission has requested the European Council to adopt themes and targets during its Spring Council.

The WHO European Region Fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health attracted over 1000 participants from across 53 countries, and adopted a Ministerial Declaration and Commitment to Act, as well as a proposed new structure to bring increased political support for the Environment and Health process.

The European Commission presented its Declaration, and Health Commissioner Dalli gave a speech on the closing day, highlighting that a significant portion of Europeans suffer from health problems linked to the environment. A series of side events highlighted EU initiatives on children’s environment and health research, biomonitoring, EEA Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade gave one of the closing speeches showcasing the new platform.

The European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety discussed the Parliament’s Report on Action Against Cancer (the European Partnership) on February 23rd. The Committee will vote on the draft Report and amendments on 6 April.

HEAL’s action on environment and health

Health took part in the Parma ministerial. Over 80 NGOs took part in WHO Fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health. It provided a very important opportunity to contribute to the discussions, share expertise and highlight where action is needed. HEAL coordinated a delegation of 20 health non-governmental, professional and patient organisations at the conference. For a full update of HEAL activities in Parma please read this month’s editorial.

HEAL discussed with Members of the European Parliament possible improvements to the Report on Action Against Cancer to ensure better recognition of environmental factors in cancer, and opportunities for primary prevention of such environmental risk factors.

- Recent media coverage on HEAL and environment and health. HEAL in the media

Your Action

Write to your Members of Parliament concerning the Report on Action against Cancer, urging them to take environmental factors better into account, to use a definition of environmental factors that includes hazardous chemicals indoors and outdoors to which people are unwittingly and involuntarily exposed, including endocrine disruptors. For more details and names of key MEPs, please contact Lisette.

Spread the word: the outcomes of the Parma ministerial. We encourage you to widely disseminate the outcomes from Parma to your networks and national partners, Please contact Anne Stauffer for more information.

Last updated on 8 June 2011

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

Contact us

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
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Phone: +32 2 234 3640
Fax: +32 2 234 3649
Press: Elke Zander

Direct telephone numbers: HEAL team page.

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