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Galicia takes over the Spanish regional representation of the Council of the EU on Health issues

01/07/2022 | ,


— Since July 1st, Galicia has been coordinating the interests of the Spanish regions before the Council of the EU on health issues for a six-month period.

— The priorities for this six-month period will be the review of the EU strategy on global health, the creation of a European health data space and the construction of an Europe that protects health.

— Galicia also hands over the coordination of employment and social issues, focused on guaranteeing access to the labor market for older people and promoting the hiring of people with disabilities.


Brussels, 1st July 2022. Xunta de Galicia assumes today, July 1, the task of regional coordination in health matters in the Council of the European Union. Galicia will represent the Spanish regions in the area of health in the EPSCO (Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs) during the second half of 2022, the rotating Presidency of the Czech Republic. Likewise, Galicia leaves the regional coordination in the EPSCO Council in issues related to employment and social affairs, a mandate it took over last January 1st during the rotating Presidency of France. This past Monday, June 27th, the meeting for the transfer of health competences was held, in which Galicia took over the baton from Castilla-La Mancha. Tomorrow, Friday, July 1, Galicia will officially hand over the coordination of employment competencies to the Canary Islands.

Priorities for the new six-month period in the field of health

The first of the priorities for this new semester focuses on the review of the EU Global Health strategy. On May 19, 2022, the European Commission announced the launch of a process to develop a new EU Global Health Strategy focused on promoting the “One Health” concept. The aim is to ensure the protection of European citizens and the EU’s ability to respond to challenges in this area. The last strategy dates back to 2010 but taking into account the profound changes that have taken place since then (adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris climate agreement, the Covid 19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, as well as the emergence of new zoonoses) it is necessary to structure a multilateral response to crises, as is already being discussed within the WHO. Along these lines, it is up to the EU to consolidate a European vision of global health problems and to convey its values and objectives.

Another of the issues that will be at the center of the six-month period in health matters will be the creation of a European health data space. The Council will continue to work on the Commission’s proposal on the creation of this European health data space. The proposal for a Regulation on the European Health Data Space (EEDS) is an essential pillar of the European Health Union, which aims to regulate the primary and secondary use of data. The proposal will help individuals to take control of their own health data. It will thus support the use of this data to improve healthcare delivery, research, innovation and policy making. It will also enable the EU to fully exploit the potential offered by the safe and secure exchange, use and reuse of health data.

With regard to the last major pillar of the semester, the Council will continue to support the implementation of the European Health Union package. These include negotiations between the Council and the European Parliament, launched in November 2021, with a view to reaching agreement on a draft Regulation on serious cross-border threats to health, to strengthen coordination on crisis preparedness and the role of EU bodies.

Hand-in of the regional coordination in employment matters

Also from July 1, Galicia will hand over to the Canary Islands the autonomous coordination in employment and social affairs that it assumed on January 1, 2022. During these months, the Regional Minister for Employment Promotion and Equality, María Jesús Lorenzana, has appeared in the EPSCO Council of the EU on two occasions, on March 14 and June 16, focusing on guaranteeing access to the labor market for the elderly and encouraging the hiring of people with disabilities.

Galicia defended in the EPSCO Council of the EU in March the common position of the Autonomous Regions so that employment policies take into account the demographics of an increasingly aging EU with fewer people of working age. In this regard, it asked the EU to work on prioritizing learning and training for workers over 50 years of age, to ensure their integration into the labor market under fair conditions and thus achieve progress in their welfare, social inclusion and economic prosperity. One of the points stressed by Galicia was the importance of combating negative stereotypes associated with older people and reflecting the heterogeneity that characterizes them. In addition, the need to integrate the gender perspective in all actions was also stressed, since older women have greater difficulties in accessing employment.

In the last Council held in June, Galicia demanded before the EU specific policies that guarantee the training and hiring of people with disabilities and that integrate the gender perspective. Thus, the Regional Minister, on behalf of all the Autonomous Communities, requested the promotion for the creation and consolidation of special employment centers of social initiative, since employment is one of the most important means to ensure the autonomy and full participation of this group in society. Galicia asked the Council for the EU to develop more concrete and binding policies that guarantee non-discrimination and support training and the acquisition of professional skills for people with disabilities. It also asked the EU for more financial resources and the development of public programs that include incentives for the hiring of this group.

Máis información: Xunta de Galicia


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