This exploratory opinion will be an opportunity to follow up on the EESC work on sustainable food systems, address the causes of obesity as the social determinant of health and provide recommendations for promoting healthier and sustainable diets, healthy lifestyle habits and protection of vulnerable children to feed into the work of the Spanish presidency.
This Opinion welcomes the Commission's ambition to reduce the incidence of cancer, and its specific efforts to minimise exposure to asbestos at work. It recommends that the technical limit value for asbestos exposure under the Directive on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work should ultimately be set at a lower level than the Commission is currently proposing. This Opinion also suggests that roadmap of complementary measures over and above the Commission's proposals should be drawn up in order to achieve that objective. It calls on the EU and its Member States to actively promote an international ban on the use of asbestos and protection for workers dealing with existing asbestos during activities such as renovation, demolition and waste management.
Rare diseases are often chronic and sometimes disabling diseases affecting an estimated 25/30 million European citizens. Even more people are affected as care taker or family. Patients and relatives face difficulties in access to diagnosis, treatment or care and in their inclusion to society and labour market. In this opinion, the EESC presents its recommendations on how to improve social protection for these patients and raise awareness on their situation and needs.
The role of family members caring for people with disabilities and older persons: the explosion of the phenomenon during the pandemic
This opinion draws attention to the needs of family members taking care of older, chronic ill or disabled relatives. Informal carers, as they are called, represented by a majority of women, work for free, and are more vulnerable to falling into poverty. The opinion calls for public policies in this field and a recognition of their important societal role.
This opinion presents the EESC's contribution to the current discussion on the future of care and health across Europe and to the European Care Strategy. The Committee recommends setting common minimum standards to ensure that every one living in the EU has access to affordable, accessible and high-quality care, that there is proper investment in the care services and in health, that the health sector, care providers and health workers are properly recognised and valued, including through investment in skills, decent working conditions, and the creation of quality jobs.
The European strategy for data proposed the establishment of domain-specific common European data spaces. The European Health Data Space (‘EHDS’) is the first proposal of such domain-specific common European data spaces. It will address health-specific challenges to electronic health data access and sharing, is one of the priorities of the European Commission in the area of health and will be an integral part of building a European Health Union. EHDS will create a common space where natural persons can easily control their electronic health data. It will also make it possible for researchers, innovators and policy makers to use this electronic health data in a trusted and secure way that preserves privacy.