Recipes for a Healthier Europe by the new Commission President-elect?

Ursula von der Leyen’s medical background has a huge potential, European patient, academic and public health NGOs say


Brussels, 16 July 2019 – On behalf of patients, medical associations, health managers and the wider European public health community, we welcome the positive vote for Ursula von der Leyen as the new President-elect of the European Commission. The support of the European Parliament is a huge responsibility and a concrete set of actions are needed to regain citizens’ trust. Achieving the strong coordination required for a coherent and robust health policy requires political leadership, drive and dedicated Commission resources to meet citizens’ expectations. We call on Ms von der Leyen to include a senior level health commissioner in her team, with a strong mandate, and to ensure that one of the Vice-Presidents of the Commission has overall responsibility for mainstreaming health across the whole of the Commission. We have outlined the main responsibilities for such a role in our joint call.

“The new Commission needs to implement patients’ rights efficiently - this is why a specific face and voice is needed within the Commission, to be an ambassador for all patients in Europe.” stressed Marco Greco, President of the European Patients' Forum.

“The election campaign is over, promises have been made, the time to deliver is now. Health is consistently prominent in the EU Eurobarometer citizens’ surveys. Will the new Commission listen and mainstream health in its next mandate?” stated Freek Spinnewijn, President of EPHA.

“We are confident that the new President-elect with her academic credentials in medicine and public health as well as her previous experience in health and social policy will heed the desire of European people for the EU to engage more effectively in health and will ensure that health science will be reflected in the evidence-based European Commission policies.” said Natasha Azzopardi Muscat, President of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA)

“An unhealthy population will undermine the European future progress and economic and social development. A coherent, strategic and shared approach on common European health challenges can ensure that the national health systems are managed in a favourable environment.” said Prof. Federico Lega, President of the European Health Management Association (EHMA). “Subsidiarity and EU added value go hand in hand.” he added