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One of the main priorities will be economic recovery laying the foundation for future growth, while putting in place measures to prevent future crises. You can find the health, social and other priorities of the Hungarian Presidency here.

Hungarian Presidency Priorities

An important theme in the Presidency Programme is putting Europe at the service of its citizens. This approach needs to be taken into account for all European policies, including economic governance , education and training, employability and job creation, improvements to social security, creating more stable and transparent opportunities through internal market rules, the production of safe food, protection of the environment, providing clean drinking water, safeguarding cultural diversity and ensuring the security of our citizens in the widest possible. The European Citizens’ Initiative opens new doors, and the Hungarian Presidency intends to ensure that citizens can use the instrument as soon as possible.

The Presidency will aim to create a stronger Europe. Its Programme is built around four main priority areas:

– promoting economic growth by strengthening economic governance and concentrating on job creation and social inclusion;
– strengthening of common policies by finding ways to make them more efficient and competitive;
– bringing Europe closer to its citizens; and
– moving forward with the enlargement process in a credible and responsible manner.

Health

The overarching goal for health policy is sustainable healthcare systems. The programme highlights the challenges of the healthcare sector, such as demographic ageing, growing gaps in health status, increasing shortages in health professionals, and the need for modernisation and better use of technology. In order to meet these challenges, the Hungarian Presidency will focus on issues related to investing in future healthcare systems. The Programme stresses the importance of supporting Member State governments in their efforts to modernise their healthcare systems. In particular, the Hungarian Presidency seeks to continue progress made under the Belgian Presidency on the health workforce.

Another issue on the agenda is the role of eHealth in modernising health services. The programme highlighted the role of eHealth in cross-border care, balancing workforce shortages and providing IT support to evidence-based health policy decision making. The Presidency will hold a ministerial conference to discuss these issues as part of eHealth Week in May.

The Presidency will organise a conference on childhood immunisation. In addition, according to the programme “it will seek to reach a positive outcome regarding the draft legislation on information to patients on medicinal products.” The future of the EU Public Health Programme will be discussed during this presidency with a focus on mental health and healthier lifestyles for children and young people, as well as injury prevention and safety promotion.

CAP

The main goal of the CAP policy should be to provide citizens with healthy and safe food, preserving the environment and ensuring the vitality of rural areas. On the basis of the Communication of the future CAP policy, the Hungarian Presidency seeks to foster debate on the priorities of CAP. It will pay special attention to moving forward the discussions on the Commission’s legislative proposals (milk package).

Additionally, it will aim at reaching a final agreement on the proposal on novel foods. One of the main objectives of the proposal on the provision of food information to consumers is to simplify current legislation and introduce new elements such as mandatory nutrition labelling. The Hungarian Presidency will encourage the adoption of this new proposal.

Single Market

The implementation of the Single Market Act will be high on the agenda.
Particularly, the elimination of existing barriers and those driven by the crisis as the cornerstone of a well-functioning Single Market. Using feedback from the public consultation, the Hungarian Presidency aims to adopt the prioritised proposals and ensure their fast-track delivery, with a view to achieving this by the 20th anniversary of the Single Market. It also intends to work towards a better functioning Single Market for services, based on the results of the mutual evaluation process of the Services Directive.

Financial Perspectives

In preparation of the negotiations of the next Multiannual Financial Framework, the Hungarian Presidency will host discussions on the strategic importance of CAP and cohesion policy as part of the wider debate on the future needs of common European policies. It intends to hold an orientation debate about the future of cohesion policy in the General Affairs Council. It is foreseen that the Commission proposals on the next (post-2014) Multiannual Financial Framework will be presented by June 2011.

Social Policy

The Presidency will propose dedicating a European Year of Families. In the context of demographic challenges, issues related to the ageing population will also receive special attention, including the 2012 European Year of Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity. One of the priorities is the improvement of the European Pact for Gender Equality, based on the new Strategy for Equality between Women and Men 2010 –15.

The implementation of the European Disability Strategy for the 2010 – 2020 period is also a priority for the Hungarian Presidency. Work on the revision of the Council Directive to introduce improvements for the health and safety at work of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding.

In the framework of the European Platform Against Poverty, the Hungarian Presidency will pay special attention to Roma integration and child poverty. Our special priority is to have the EU Framework on National Roma Integration Strategies adopted.

ICT

The Digital Assembly will be organised by the Commission and the
European Parliament for the first time in June 2011, with the involvement
of all relevant stakeholders. Under the Hungarian Presidency, the European Commission is expected to prepare the first Digital Scoreboard for the implementation of the Digital Agenda for Europe, containing the first year’s results and key performance targets.

Employment Policy

The Presidency will start negotiations related to workers’ health and safety (electro-magnetic exposure). It aims to adopt Council conclusions on the further development of an electronic exchange system in the framework of the Posting of Workers Directive.

Budget

Hungary will be spending a total of EUR 85 million. The majority of this budget will be spent on up to 260 events in Hungary that will be organised during the first half of 2011. During the Presidency, Hungary expects to host about 35-40,000 official guests.

A list of contacts for the Hungarian Presidency is available here

The official calendar of the Presidency can be found here.

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