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The Employment, Social Policy, Healthcare and Consumer Affairs Council adopted Conclusions on nutrition in children - a priority of the Bulgarian presidency

The future of healthcare at European level was a central theme of the Employment, Social Policy, Healthcare and Consumer Affairs Council, which was held in Luxembourg chaired by the Bulgarian Health Minister Kiril Ananiev.

“The EU needs more visibility of policies that work in favor of people: health policy is among them. Healthcare should provide a good balance between health and trade - an inherent feature of the EU regulatory framework that is beneficial to people and ensure the quality of life in our continent”, said Minister Ananiev during the press conference after the Council.

Health ministers from the EU shared the opinion that more cooperation is needed between Member States. This can be achieved gradually through the exchange of best practices and real influence and control over the processes in the sector at European level.

At their meeting the ministers also adopted Council conclusions on nutrition in children - one of the priorities of the Bulgarian presidency. “In this political document is much more than nutrition and food: there are messages about the need for cooperation in the fight against chronic non-communicable diseases, for the significant contribution of healthcare as a sector investing in health of people, children and young people as vulnerable consumers, but and as carriers of the new, the potential and the future. We have highlighted the need for cross-sectoral cooperation - in this case the Common Agricultural Policy provides a contribution to the health policy objectives”, said Kiril Ananiev.

Emphasis was also placed on the need for regulation of unhealthy foods marketing aimed at children. Bulgarian health minister stressed that “Europe has reasons to be proud of that it is the benchmark for quality of life and better regulatory framework that protects consumers’ interests”, as the message of health ministers is this to be maintained in the future in partnership with the Commission.

The Health Minister announced the completion of negotiations on Regulation 726/2004 (EMA Regulation) as part of the Veterinary package, which was among the priorities of the Bulgarian presidency. It was agreed the adoption of fees for EMA by a legislative act.

In terms of legislative debates that took place within the Council of Ministers Kiril Ananiev said that the proposal for a Regulation on Health Technology Assessment a number of Member States have indicated concerns about the foreseen binding cooperation. “Very few delegations declared unconditional support for the proposed mandatory application of assessments. There is a desire to continue the constructive talks in search of alternatives to the proposed mandatory approach. A legislative proposal at EU level cannot stand on supporting minority: those are the rules laid down in the Treaties”, commented the Bulgarian Health Minister.

Kiril Ananiev said that the debate on health technology assessment is an important political landmark both for the European Commission and the next Presidencies.

Health Commissioner Andriukaitis said that he fully supports the importance the Bulgarian Presidency has served on the theme of healthy nutrition in children and it is a task to which all Member States are united.


On June 22, a meeting of the Council of Health Ministers will be held in Luxembourg, chaired by Minister Ananiev


On June 22, 2018, a meeting of the Council of Health Ministers (EPSCO-Health) will be held in Luxembourg, chaired by Minister Kiril Ananiev.

The agenda includes a discussion on the legislative proposal for health technology assessment, as well as a debate on the future of healthcare at European level.

The Council is also expected to endorse Council conclusions on healthy nutrition in children: one of the priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency, with a focus on the healthy young generation as a key to Europe’s future.

The Presidency will inform for the conclusion of the tripartite negotiations on the Veterinary Package, and in particular the priority healthcare dossier in the field of humane medicines (amendments to Regulation No 726/2004).