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Voting for "healthy people and a healthy planet" in the European elections, June 4-7

A monthly update for the health and environment community in Europe

Voting for "healthy people and a healthy planet" in the European elections, June 4-7

Would you like to know the position of different candidate European Parliamentarians (MEPs) on promoting health through strong environmental policy? Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) hopes to be able to provide this information to you in time for voting in the June elections.

Candidates will be scored on responses to eight questions. They will be asked to commit on: investing in precautionary environmental health policies; putting children and vulnerable groups first; and, the crucial challenge for health and the health sector of global climate change. A further five questions are about chemicals policy (REACH), air quality standards, nano materials, electromagnetic field technology, and noise. Download the questionnaire.

The survey provides an opportunity not only to gage candidate MEP positions but also to inform them of what HEAL believes are key policy opportunities to improve people’s environmental health. It will also help identify the most active and supportive and those willing to champion particular health and environmental concerns in the future. For example, one question relates to our recommendation for a stronger climate change package in the lead up to the Copenhagen negotiations in December. An ambitious and visionary EU position on substantial greenhouse emission cuts would bring major health benefits, especially for those with heart and breathing problems through energy policy changes that result in improved air quality.

As the Executive Director of the World Health Organisation Dr Chan stated recently “Health had no say in the policies that led to the financial crisis or made climate change inevitable. But the health sector will bear the brunt of the consequences.” HEAL and its members are committed to promoting the democratic process to achieve a healthier and more sustainable Europe. Making the effort both to vote and to identify in advance which candidates to vote for, can make a major contribution to achieving this vision, which is shared by other environmental groups (read the Green 10 roadmap).

Approximately 90% of all environmental policy is now created at the European level. Over the next five-year European Parliament, crucial decisions affecting the quality of our health, our lives and the planet will be made. Already on the agenda are climate change, agricultural reform, and the implementation of chemical regulation known as REACH. HEAL and its members are not alone in promoting "quality of life" issues. According to official European surveys, the proportion of Europeans concerned about the state of the environment is almost as high as the percentage worried about the economic situation.

HEAL members and staff have already started asking some candidates the survey questions with the help of the kit. We hope to have scores on candidate MEPs in all 27 countries of the EU to share with you in May. We would welcome your help in this task. Please visit HEAL related article for background information and/or contact Monica Guarinoni, Deputy Director, for further help.

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Last updated on 30 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 »

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Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
28 Boulevard Charlemagne
B1000 Brussels, Belgium
Phone: +32 2 234 3640
Fax: +32 2 234 3649
Press: Elke Zander

Direct telephone numbers: HEAL team page.

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