EPHA sent comments to the European Parliament draft own initiative report on the 7th Environment Action Programme to ensure that the European Parliament position will take into account fostering a health-promoting physical and social environment as part of the future Environment Action Programme of the EU.
Fostering a health-promoting physical (and social-) environment as one of the core determinants of health and well-being at population level, remains one of the key policy and advocacy aims of EPHA.
At the moment, the EU evaluates the 6th EAP and sets up the priorities of the 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP). The current EAP comes to an end in July 2012 and a new programme is still to be developed, negotiated on and budget’s allocated. Being drafted by Jo Leinen MEP (S&D, Germany), the own-initiative report on the matter was therefore a great opportunity for EPHA to express its concerns related to this vital health-environment link.
DRAFT OWN-INITIATIVE REPORT Of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety On the Review of the 6th Environment Action Programme and the setting of priorities for the 7th Environment Action Programme – A better environment for a better life (2011/2194(INI))
Rapporteur: Jo Leinen MEP (S&D, Germany)
Although aimed at reviewing of the 6th EAP and using the review results to identify un-addressed issues and gaps to be included whilst setting of priorities for the 7th EAP, titled "A better environment for a better life", EPHA felt the proposed draft report covered the environment-health-equity issue to an only meager and unsatisfactory extent.
recognise environment as a contributing factor to many public health persistent and emerging problems such as chronic diet-related diseases, indoor and outdoor air quality (incl. second hand smoke, noise);
acknowledge environment as one of key determinants of health inequalities where a strong social gradient in distribution of health-aversive environmental factors exists; in particular, vulnerable groups such as children, youth, the poor, the elderly, the Roma and migrants are exposed to poor quality environmental conditions of living and working; moreover, a gender equity dimension should be considered;
in order to achieve a "health in all policies" principle, coherent cross-sector collaboration at all levels of policy making, implementing, monitoring and evaluating should be employed;
efficient and sustainable use of resources should consider impacts on human health, food security and safety, agricultural production and consumption patterns, equal opportunities along with the need to protect the most vulnerable groups;
along with considerations related to agriculture and the Common Agricultural Policy, the issues of food waste, over-reliance on fossil fuels, red meat and dairy production, chemicals and pesticides, and antibiotic resistance were included.
The draft report has been considered at the last meeting (23-25 January 2012) meeting of the ENVI Committee. The amendments were to be tabled by 26 January 2012, to be voted on in the Committee at its next meeting (probably 29 February).
Other EP Committees assigned to provide an opinion on the report are the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), and the Committee on Regional Development (REGI). See the report dossier on the EP website here. The report is to be voted in plenary on 17 April 2012.
EPHA will monitor these proceedings and will present an update upon more information come available.
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