We don’t regulate for the sake of regulation, but to allow people to live longer and healthier. We need to follow go food safety standards from farm to fork
Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis held a lively Citizens‘ Dialogue in Sevilla’s Palacio de San Telmo. Together with Vice-President Manuel Jiménez Barrios he discussed with some 150 people health policy and the Future of Europe. After a passionate call from Commissioner Andriukaitis for more integration – the scenario 5 of the recent White Paper – the audience voted with 66% for more integration, 12% were in favour of a Europe of various speeds and 8% preferred either a combination of the scenarios or something different. The options to carry on (3%), to concentrate on the Internal Market (1%) and to do less more efficiently (4%) did not convince the people in the room.
The Ctizens’ Dialogue in Sevilla brought Commissioner Andriukaitis together with a public that felt less than the European average that its voice is heard (only 27% while 61% answered with “no” on the respective question). On the other hand three out of four Sevillians (75%) feel that they do enough to prevent health problems. This allowed the Commissioner to call for more discussion and dialogue about European issues and to ask the audience for their help to promote a more healthy life style (without – or less – tobacco, alcohol, fat, sugar and salt.
The first part of the debate focused i.a. on food safety standards. On the question from a representative of the agricultural producers from Andalucia about regulations, the Commissioner underlined that the EU does not regulate for the sake of regulation, but in order to contribute to longer and healthier lives of people on the basis of scientific evidence. The Andalucian Member of the European Parliament Clara Aguilera called in this context for a clear position about the use of glyphosate which is in her eyes important for the regional agriculture and the Commissioner in charge of health and food safety explained that the scientific evidence shows that the use of this agent does not provoke cancer.
The second pat of the Dialogue was opened by a passionate statement from Vytenis Andriukaitis for a deeper integration of Europe. Referring to his experience as a child born in a Stalinist Gulag, his status as a displaced person, political prisoner and a person who had experienced discrimination he called for honesty and said that a multi-speed Europe could not be justified by the differences among Member States which made up for the Union’s strength. His stage partner Manuel Jiménez Barrios advocated “a better Europe” and felt that 3 million Spanish middle class households that had become poor during the crisis made it difficult to call for more Europe. Commissioner Andriukaitis had at the end convinced two out of three participants. 66% of the citizens in the room voted for a more integrated Europe. He thanked people for this support and called upon them to carry this discussion forward and all over Europe.