European Commission President’s State of the Union Address: Health needs to remain high on the EU’s political agenda
Posted on 13.09.2023
Brussels, 13 September 2023 – In her State of the Union Address, President von der Leyen addressed the important need for Europe to maintain its competitive edge but fell short of giving health the priority it needs.
Oliver Bisazza, CEO of MedTech Europe, commented: “We continue supporting the European Commission’s ambition towards a green, digital and geopolitical Europe and recognise the achievements of the European Commission for this mandate. Setting the building blocks of a European Health Union was a crucial step in making sure that Member States are able to respond collectively to health challenges. Though the Address fell short of giving health the recognition it deserves, healthcare needs to remain high on the EU’s political agenda for the remaining mandate and the future one”.
The last State of the Union address of this Commission afforded an opportunity to reflect on a mandate that saw unprecedented action to build more resilient health systems and embrace the digitalisation of the healthcare sector. Significant efforts are still required to ensure that all patients across the continent enjoy top-tier care and unfettered access to medical services and technologies. Now it is time for the EU to keep the momentum to advance solutions to crucial healthcare challenges and do even better when it comes to improving the health and wellbeing of people across the EU.
Focusing on this priority also means creating the right environment for companies to deliver the needed innovation for European health systems. The President’s remarks in this regard are reassuring. We welcome the Commission’s announced measures to support the competitive edge of businesses in Europe, namely the competitiveness check for each new legislation and the appointment of a special SME Envoy to give voice to European SMEs – which represent 95% of the medical technology sector.
The President highlighted the necessity of and opportunities that come with the European Green Deal. Embracing sustainability in the healthcare sector holistically means continuously improving performance while maintaining the highest standards of health and safety to satisfy patients’ healthcare needs. We welcome the President’s intention to support the European industry through this transition with a tailored approach for each industrial ecosystem.
MedTech Europe is ready to support the European Commission in pursuing these priorities until the end of the current mandate and beyond.