European Parliament interviews Commissioners-designate
06 Oct 2014
A series of hearings took place in the European Parliament this week to approve the candidate Commissioners proposed by the individual Member States. In particular:
Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioners-designate for Health and Food Safety (Lithuania), was heard in the Committee responsible for health, consumer affairs and food safety (ENVI) on 30 September. He was questioned by several MEPs about the move of the pharmaceutical portfolio, including the European Medicines Agency (EMA), out of Health and into Industry. He replied that he intends to work closely with the Commissioner in charge of that portfolio. To a question by Mark De Mesmaeker MEP (ECR, Belgium) about the recognition of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, he replied that these decisions will be made by the Member States. However, he pointed out that certain steps have already been taken and he encouraged a dialogue amongst Member States to exchange best practice. In his closing remarks, he referred to the need for a Health Union, to better address existing and future problems.
A report of the hearing can be viewed here: http://www.elections2014.eu/en/new-commission/hearing/20140917HEA64709
Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner-designate for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (Poland), appeared before the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and Internal Market an Consumer Protections (IMCO) Committees on 2 October. In response to several questions from MEPs, the Commissioner Designate defended the transfer of competence for medicinal products and health technologies from Health to Internal Market and Industry as a rational decision, given that it is a highly innovative sector, with EU the third largest exporter globally. She answered specific questions on smaller pharmaceutical companies, delays in the release of new drugs and on clinical trials. She said that health, safety, quality and availability were her primary priorities for this sector.
A report of the hearing and a profile of the Commissioner Designate can be found here: http://www.elections2014.eu/en/new-commission/hearing/20140918HEA65212