In this opinion the EESC:
- Welcomes Europe's Beating Cancer Plan as a milestone in the fight against cancer and calls for a concrete roadmap for its implementation, with performance indicators, realistic timeframes and close involvement of Social Partners (SP) and Civil Society Organisations (CSO).
- Considers important that the EU and Member States ensure the availability of igh-quality, accessible healthcare infrastructure and effective support systems for patients' physical and mental well-being.
- Asks for the negative consequences caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in accessing to health services to be urgently addressed, recognising as well the supportive role SP and CSO can play in this area.
This opinion is the EESC's contribution to the implementation of the European Democracy Action Plan (EDAP) published by the European Commission in December 2020. The EESC welcomes the document, which it views as both positive and necessary, and recommends that the European Commission add to it a specific pillar for the involvement of civil society and social partners and the promotion of labour democracy. Indeed, the EESC regrets that the EDAP has failed to address the important role of the social contract, social dialogue and collective bargaining in reducing inequalities and encouraging Europeans to embrace democratic ideals. The EESC also believes that greater emphasis should be placed on civil dialogue, and it therefore reiterates its call for the creation of an annual Civil Society Forum on Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law (SOC/627).
In its opinion, the EESC calls for physical and digital completion of the internal market to be on an equal footing and for a high level of consumer protection to be achieved. It calls for greater durability of goods, access to sustainable products, a clean, circular, more climate-friendly economy and efficient use of products, as well as combating of planned obsolescence and the right to repair goods and products.
The Commission proposes a new pharmaceutical strategy for Europe. It is a patient-centred strategy that aims to ensure the quality and safety of medicines, while boosting the sector’s global competitiveness. The EU needs to make sure that patients have access to high-quality, effective and safe medicines. It will foster patient access to innovative and affordable medicines. It will support the competitiveness and innovative capacity of the EU’s pharmaceutical industry.
The EU chemicals strategy aims to address the cumulative and combined effects of chemicals, including pesticides, stressing a need to accelerate work on methodologies that ensure existing provisions can be fully implemented.
The strategy is intended as a first step towards a zero pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment, as announced in the European Green Deal.