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Presidency - Health

Beatrice Lorenzin

Health is indeed a priority during the Term of the Italian Presidency, as the number of health-related events and objectives confirm. Health-related issues have an enormous impact on the overall growth and development of the European Union, making them a central issue of public policies.

That is why, starting with the guidelines of the "Europe 2020" strategy and the programme of the Italy-Lithuania –Luxembourg Trio, we intend to propose initiatives based on the principle of “health in all policies” to our colleagues of other Member States, above all because interventions with an impact in fields such as education, infrastructures, the environment, finance and economy, help to improve both the health of populations and the general economic situation of individual countries, and thus of Europe as a whole.

We intend to encourage a constructive dialogue between Ministries, and between these and the European Institutions, in order to improve the well-being, health and the quality of life of our citizens, and the competitiveness of the European Union.

In this website you can find a list and brief description of the health-related events and meetings organised during our Presidency, which will range from prevention to the organisation of services and the quality of healthcare, food safety and computerization, research and innovation in the medical field and veterinary health care.

Considering the geographical position of our Country in the Mediterranean area, and the ever-increasing importance and topicality of migratory flows for the European Union, Italy will also offer an opportunity for across-the board reflection on health in the Mediterranean.

These are going to be six very demanding months, that we will conduct with great commitment and enthusiasm, as is fitting for a field as important as public Health, confiding in the convergence of Member States, the European Commission and Parliament, in the interests of the community.


Minister of Health

Hon. Beatrice Lorenzin

From 1 July to 31 December 2014, Italy is in charge of the presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Council of the European Union, also known as EU Council, is the institution that represents the governments of the member states. The presidency of the Council of the European Union rotates amongst member states every six months according to a pre-set order. During the six-month term, Italy is in charge of preparing, coordinating and chairing the work of the Council; it shall act as an honest broker in order to promote legislative decisions and policy initiatives, and to negotiate with member states. The presidency has two main tasks:

  • planning and chairing the meetings of the Council and its preparatory bodies. The presidency is in charge of the agenda of the Council and of chairing a number of meetings: two meetings of the European Council, the meetings of the Councils of Ministers (with the exception of the Foreign Affairs Council), the meetings of its preparatory bodies, several informal ministerial meetings, summits and other meetings between the EU and third countries as well as many other sector specific events;
  • representing the Council in relations with the other EU institutions, especially with the Commission and the European Parliament. Its task is to try and reach agreement on legislative files through trialogues, informal negotiation meetings and Conciliation Committee meetings.

For more information please visit the website of the Italian Presidency of the European Union Council -



Programme of the Health sector

Due to the their cross-cutting nature, health-related issues represent a priority for the Italian Presidency, which will be engaged in involving the third sector, such as active healthcare organisations.

The Presidency will promote healthy lifestyles and prevention, within the conceptual framework of the “3rd Health EU Programme”, also taking into account gender differences, with a special view to the prevention of respiratory diseases and cancer.

The Italian Presidency will invite its European partners to consider the outcome and perspectives of the fight against HIV/AIDS – ten years after the Dublin Declaration on the partnership against this disease. Priority will be given both to vaccines as an effective tool for public health, also aiming at the adoption of Council conclusions, and to antimicrobial resistance. As regards healthcare, more work will be done to guarantee the quality of services in order to ensure the greater safety of patients. Given the adverse economic cycle, special attention will be given to the issues of efficiency, efficacy and the cost-effectiveness of healthcare delivery.

The Italian Presidency intends to promote public discussion on patient safety and care-related infections. Discussions will also be held on dementia, on pain treatment and palliative therapies. Health research plays a primary role with regard to the aforementioned issues and a discussion on this specific issue will be launched during the Informal Meeting. Ministers will consider the benefits for patients arising from research and innovations in the pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors.

The Italian Presidency will focus on the review of the Regulations on medical devices and in-vitro diagnostic medical devices.

The Presidency will also explore whether and how to take forward the review of the Directive 89/105/EEC on the transparency of measures regulating the prices of medicinal products for human use and their inclusion within the scope of public health insurance systems.

Veterinary, Food Safety and Phytosanitary Issues

Among the strategic priorities to be pursued during the six-month Presidency, legislative harmonization on animal health represents an important issue, also with reference to the impact on farmers of bio-security measures to prevent the spread of diseases.

The Italian Presidency intends to make progress in achieving consensus on EU legislation, which would effectively address the concerns about consumers’ health and animal welfare. The new proposal tabled by the Commission at the end of 2013 on animal cloning and novel food may present a new start for finding a balanced solution preventing the marketing of food from animal clones, while avoiding any obstacles to research and innovation.

The Presidency will work on the proposal for an EU Regulation on animal health. Reinforcement of the epidemiological surveillance system for certain diseases such as Avian Influenza, Blue Tongue and West Nile Disease will be proposed. In particular, a global conference will be held in Italy, in agreement with the European Commission and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Furthermore, in accordance with EU recommendations and the public health problems raised by consumers and patients, the Presidency will encourage the review of Regulations on veterinary medicines as well as on the use of medicated feeds in farm animal therapy, inter alia in order to achieve a  reduction in the use of antibiotics in products of animal origin.

As regards food safety, the review of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official controls is already in progress through the proposal for Regulation (EU) No 256/2013. This measure is part of a package aiming to achieve a legislative update of health and safety throughout the agro-food chain. In addition, the Presidency will be involved in the review of the Regulations on protection against harmful organisms for plants; the production and marketing of plant propagation material; and official controls and other official activities intended to ensure the application of laws on plant health and phytosanitary production. Moreover, the Italian

Presidency will be committed to reaching an agreement with the European Parliament within the negotiations on the novel food file. An additional strategic priority is the reinforcement of cooperation between Member States’ competent authorities in the fight against fraud. The Italian Presidency, in cooperation with the Commission, will examine whether the current legislation concerning both food supplements based on plants and plant derivatives - “botanicals” - and probiotic products needs to be reviewed, with particular reference to removing the gaps in the application  of the legislative framework for claims, which represents a relevant area of interest for the food production sector at national level.

A primary objective of the Presidency will be the reinforcement of EU negotiations with the more relevant third Countries, in order to guarantee a greater compliance with international health rules laid down in the Health and Phytosanitary Agreement, as well to promote the export of agri-food products.



The Program of events of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the health sector includes two Ministers of Health Meetings, eighteen Conferences and several other periodic meetings. The coordination is managed by the Directorate-General of Communication and of European and International Relations - Director-general: Dr. Daniela Rodorigo.

Please go to section Events to see the events in the health sector.



  • Informal meeting of the Ministers of Health, Milan 22-23 September 2014
  • Council of Ministers of Health, Brussels 1 December 2014



  • Conference on “Innovation systems and prospects of health”, Milan 21-22 September 2014
  • Ministerial Conference on “Women’s health: a Life-Course approach”, Rome 2-3 October 2014
  • Conference on “e-Health”, Rome7- 8 October 2014
  • International Conference on “Food frauds”, Rome 23-24 October 2014
  • Conference on “Lessons learned” and recommendations one year after the implementation of the Directive 2011/24/EU, Venice 23 – 24 October
  • Ministerial Conference on “Health in the Mediterranean”, Rome 27-28 October 2014
  • Conference on “Rare disease: Europe’s challenges”, Rome 31 October 2014
  • Conference on “Quality, safety and costs of care”, Rome 3-4 November 2014
  • 4th International Conference on “Blue Tongue and other Orbivirus diseases”, Rome 5-7 November 2014
  • Workshop on  Interaction between national and local dimensions: the development of health policies, Brussels 6 – 7 November 2014
  • Conference on “Dementia in Europe: a challenge for our common future”, Rome 14 November 2014
  • Ministerial Conference on “The fight against HIV/AIDS ten years after the Dublin Conference”, Rome 27-28 November 2014
  • 2nd Annual Joint Action Conference on “The Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting”, Rome 4 – 5 December 2014
  • European Conference on “Youth mental health: from the continuity of psychopathologies to the continuity of treatments”, Venice 16-18  December 2014
  • Conference on “Neurodevelopmental disorders, with specific reference to communication and language disorders in the age of development and to Autism spectrum disorders”, Rome 17  December 2014
  • Presentation of the Report on the Health Status of Country (RSSP) 2012-2013, Rome 18 December 2014
  • International Conference on Medical Devices, Rome 18-19 December 2014
  • Conference on “Antimicrobial resistance”, Rome 22-23 December 2014



  • Working Party on Public Health - Senior level, Brussels 15 July 2014
  • 1st Meeting of Heads of Human and Veterinary Medicines Agencies, Rome 16-17 July 2014
  • Presidency Meeting of the Coordination Group for Mutual Recognition and Decentralized Procedures (CMDv) and the Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP), including the joint meeting of the two groups, Rome 22-23  September 2014
  • Meeting of Health Attachés, Milan 23-24 September 2014
  • EFSA Advisory Forum Meeting, Venice 24 -25  September 2014
  • Meeting of the Heads of European Food Safety Agencies, Venice 26 September 2014
  • Meeting of Chief Veterinary Officers, Milan 1-3 October 2014
  • Meeting of Chief Medical, Nursing and Dental Officers, Rome 6 -7 October 2014
  • Meeting of Competent Authorities on Medical devices, Rome 16 -17  October 2014
  • Meeting of Competent Authorities for HTA, Rome 29 October 2014
  • 2nd Meeting of Heads of Human and Veterinary Medicines Agencies, Rome 27-28 November 2014


Data di pubblicazione: 25 september 2014

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