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Health voices across the EU welcome steps made by Members of the European Parliament to prioritise health and environment in the next EU budget cycle, in a vote on the next LIFE programme (2021-2017) today.
“Many chronic and acute diseases, such as cancers, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, diabetes and obesity, are caused or worsened by pollution in our environment”, says Genon Jensen, Executive Director of Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL). “The LIFE programme has long provided for a clear added value for the health of EU citizens, and we welcome that the European Parliament stepped in to protect it.”
HEAL now calls on the European Parliament and Council during the trialogue negotiation to further safeguard health and environmental action by ensuring that health, chemicals and the next Environmental Action Programme are in the next LIFE regulation.
The EU Commission proposal for the next LIFE programme is currently under discussion with EU Member States and the EU Parliament as part of negotiations on the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The LIFE programme has a history of success in ensuring the protection of environment and health, and has enabled many individuals and organisations to become engaged at the local, national and European level.
The current LIFE programme which runs until 2020 has been instrumental in particular for advancing policy and civil society action on disease prevention through a clear focus on health and awarding resources for clean air, chemical safety, noise protection and climate activities. Its spending orientations are based on the objectives outlined in the 7th Environment Action Programme  (EAP) – where health and environment is a top priority, and also prominently addresses the threat from chemicals to health. This focus is missing in the current Commission’s proposal .