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On 6 April 2005 the Commission adopted a Health and Consumer protection Strategy and a proposal for a European Parliament and Council Decision creating the Community Programme for Health and Consumer protection 2007-2013. The strategy and programme proposal bring together and extend the current EU Public Health Programme and the current programme in support of EU consumer policy. The common objectives of the programme are: To protect citizens from risks and threats which are beyond the control of individuals and that cannot be effectively tackled by individual Member States; To increase the ability of citizens to take better decisions about their health and consumer interests; and To mainstream health and consumer policy objectives across all Community policies. The Proposal (COM 2005, 115) had its first reading in a plenary session of the European Parliament on 16 March 2006 and the rapporteur, Greek MEP Trakatellis’ report was adopted with amendments. Many of the amendments of the Parliament refer to the eligibility for core funding of patient groups as well as specialised networks through the programme (see particularly Amendments 40, 53, 54 and 141), and an increase in the budget to 1500 million, to account for a widening of actions. The European Parliament’s view is that the European Commission’s proposal to fuse public health and consumer protection is not valid, since the two areas come under different legal bases and the Parliament therefore called for a division of the programme into two. The Proposal has yet to be discussed in the European Council. Unfortunately the current developments in the EU financial perspectives which are a result of the UK EU Presidency agreement last year will inevitably cut down the budget for public health. We will keep you informed.

Dear Visitor,

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The EFA Team