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Commitments made by the Commissioner designates during the hearing

29/11/2019

The Commissioner designates will officially enter their office on 1st December, within a week. Below is a brief summary of their most relevant commitments they have made during their hearing at the European Parliament.

ELISA FERREIRA Commissioner-designate Cohesion and Reforms

“I think partnership is absolutely essential. Involving local stakeholders is absolutely essential. I will investigate the situation, I will see what is happening. In my experience the involvement of local stakeholders is the prerequisite for allowing the projects that are implemented to be good for the all concerned and to ensure that there is full participation of local communities in every project. [...] The principle is an accepted principle, it is an established principle within the Commission and the services.”

STELLA KYRIAKIDES Commissioner-designate Health

“I want to ensure that we have the right means to keep our citizens healthy, and for this, a steady stream of affordable medicines is vital. The EU pharmaceutical system has given citizens access to high-quality and affordable medicines for decades.”

“There is a legal obligation on the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that patients have access to and supply of medicines. We need to work closely and try to have a holistic pharmaceutical strategy, so as to be able to deliver what we need for patients.”

“I will focus on implementing a modernised and more robust legislative framework for medical devices. This needs to be done in order to improve patient safety and consolidate the EU’s role as a global leader in this field.”

“Digital technologies and artificial intelligence need to be leveraged in this effort, as they can bring concrete benefits to patients and to healthcare professionals. I want to maximise this potential and I see the creation of a European Health Data Space as an important step in the right direction.”

“Digitalisation is a very important part of any health agenda and it is extremely significant for citizens. [...] We are committed to digitalisation as a Commission. It’s something that would promote research and innovation, we already have the European reference networks and these are allowing people with rare diseases and paediatrics, to be able to have this access and I believe that it can radically change patient care and treatment.”

“Unfortunately, one of the drawbacks of what we see in today’s digital age, is how easy it is to spread misinformation through so many media. [...] So we need to work together through education and through health in order to fight and challenge the misinformation that is now out there and that is directly impacting on human health.”

“[...] we need to be careful as well with data protection for patients. So this is something that we should always have in mind when we’re talking about e-health.”

MARGRETHE VESTAGER Executive Vice-President-designate Europe Fit for Digital Age

“[...] we need to engage with people’s concerns about technology and, in that process, to build trust. I will work on a Digital Services Act that includes upgrading our liability and safety rules on digital platforms, services and products. We may also need to regulate the way that companies collect and use and share data – so that it benefits all of society.”

“[...] it’s important that we make the most of what we have, since we’re in a hurry. It is important to take stock of what I would call digital citizens’ rights – the GDPR – so that we can have national authorities enforcing that in full, and hopefully also have a market response, so that we have privacy by design [...].”

DUBRAVKA ŠUICA Vice-President-designate Democracy and Demography

“We have to contact everyone – NGOs, local and regional authorities, national parliaments. But local and regional authorities will be the most important because this is the easiest way to reach the citizens, and we want to reach any citizen who is interested in our common future.”

“I will put forward a Green Paper on ageing to assess what can and needs to be done, notably to foster active ageing and look at whether our social protection systems are fit for an older population. This will be done in close cooperation with this House, and of course with Member States, who have the competencies in most of these areas.”

MARIYA GABRIEL Commissioner-designate Innovation and Youth

“As for the budget, I am clearly on the side of the European Parliament. I will vigorously defend the budget increase for the Horizon Europe programme, because it will have to be understood that the budget for Horizon Europe is not an expense, it is an investment.”

“As for the humanities and social sciences, I am very clear: I want to integrate them throughout the Horizon Europe programme, not only in the missions, but also in the first and third pillars. First, because I would not want to put them in silos. I would like them to be taken into account every time we try to innovate under the third pillar or we will have missions under the second pillar.”

“I would like to make a real commitment with my services, before the implementation of Horizon Europe, to go to the regions, in the different countries, and to talk about Horizon Europe.”

“I will insist on the European Innovation Council as a one- stop shop where SMEs will have access, this will be the target group. Especially since the Parliament was very clear: 70 percent of the budget will be dedicated to SMEs.”

“Now, what I would like to happen is that SMEs in all regions are aware of these possibilities, it is clear that we do not form closed clubs. That is why I will also pay particular attention to the activities of the European Institute of Innovation, because they also have initiatives aimed at regional innovation. They are also aimed at small and medium-sized businesses.”

Related action groups: 
A1 Adherence to prescription, A2 Falls prevention, A3 Lifespan Health Promotion & Prevention of Age Related Frailty and Disease, B3 Integrated care, C2 Independent living solutions, D4 Age friendly environments