Media release

Ministers debate EU’s alcohol policy and agree on medical devices

© European Union
19 June 2015

On Friday, 19 June, the Minister for Health Guntis Belēvičs chaired the meeting of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) in Luxembourg. During the meeting the EU Member States discussed legislation on madical devices, EU alcohol policy and health dimension of the migration.

Medical devices

The Council agreed the substance of its negotiating stance on two draft regulations aimed at modernising EU rules on medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices. The main objective of the two draft regulations is to ensure that products such as hip replacements, pacemakers and laboratory tests are safe. The agreement reached in the Council will allow the next presidency to take contact with the European Parliament to prepare negotiations between the two institutions.

"Today's agreement is a decisive step forward to improve patient safety and strengthen European competitiveness. Further work both within the Council and between the Council and the European Parliament is, however, needed to ensure that the benefits of the new rules are put into practice", said Guntis Belēvičs, the Latvian minister for health and President of the Council.

EU alcohol policy

A majority of ministers backed a call of the Slovenian delegation to present a new framework for the EU's alcohol policy. This framework would help member states to tackle the abuse of alcohol and alcohol related harm. According to the WHO, alcohol is the third leading risk factor for disease and mortality in Europe.

European agenda on migration

Several ministers stressed the importance of the health dimension being properly reflected in the European agenda on migration.

Press conference by Minister for Health Guntis Belēvičs following the meeting:

Jānis Rungulis
Spokesperson (COREPER I)