Health community representatives seem far from convinced by the EC's Better Regulation policy, if those who spoke at the EPHA conference last week are to be believed.
Ms Christina Colclough, from UNI Europa (trade union for private employees) told how "disappointed" her organisation was with BR for not tackling the main challenges to Europe, including that of raising social standards.
Ms Magda Stoczkiewicz, director of Friends of the Earth, regretted that an excessive focus on administrative burdens, instead of the benefits of legislation, which made the EC's agenda look like a Business Europe position.
Ms Florence Berteletti, director of Smokefree Partnership, reminded the audience that industry lobbies were behind the adoption of RIA, a thesis researched by Dr Katherine Smith, in a report launched in the European Parliament in 2010 (see blog post).
On the other hand DG Santé representative and your blogger were given the time to defend a more positive reading of the recent Commission BR package, and Ms Tamsin Rose (Friends of Europe think-tank), pointed out that BR should reduce the irrationality of policy-making.
Moderator Nina Renshaw, secretary general of EPHA, was able to wrap-up with some forward-looking conclusions:
- BR and RIA were an opportunity that the Health stakeholders should embrace and make heard the voice of their communities in the policy-making process at EU level.
- the cost of doing nothing option should always be assessed (such as the cost of doing nothing to provide health care to migrants)
- BR should be used to increase the accountability of politicians when pursuing policies not supported by evidence.
See also post on calling the conference (below).