Let' s continue our dialogues
On October 19th Commissioner Andriukaitis participated in a lively dialogue with the citizens in the university hospital in Bucharest, Romania. Around 70 people coming from the health and pharmaceuticals domain gathered in the ampitheatre of the hospital to discuss their issues and concerns with the Commissioner accompanied in this dialogue by the Romanian Minister of Health, Mr Bodog and the Romanian Minister of European Funds, Mr Nica.
The Commissioner warmly welcomed the concerns of the audience about the apparent gap between Romania and other Member States in the field of health and acknowledged the need for convergence with the help of EU funding under the commonly established rules. There are a lot to be done and Member States should provide for the modernization of the health system and processes.
The conversation then turned to the issues of the future of Europe with the UK leaving the Union and the situation of Romania today which is still outside the Schengen area. The Commissioner stated that he is personally not happy to see the UK leaving but we all need to remain in unity and respect the democratic will of people. About Romania and Schengen the Commissioner quoted President Juncker that Romania and Bulgaria will be members of the Schengen area.
Returning to local issues the audience was keen to know what can be done by the European Commission in fighting corruption in the healthcare system in Romania such as informal payments and other instances of corrupted practices. The Commissioner warned about the false perception that corruption is only in Romania and went further to welcome the Member States in strengthening their rules, health procurement systems and use controls and measures to eliminate these kind of practices.
The discussion turned to the concerns of the audience about the existence of double standards in food quality and safety. The Commissioner iterated the need for a strong common food safety framework in the 28 Member States respecting the rules of common market and free circulation of goods. He emnphasized the importance of the issue and the connection existing between food quality and the longer term effects on the health of the EU population. The Commissioner referred to the efforts in defining a common methodology of food assesment for the Member States to follow.
More concerns came in the dialogue related to the use of pesticides and neonicotinoids in farming. The Commissioner defended the restriction of use of harmful pesticides and especially 3 types of neonicotinoids which were scientifically proven to harm bee population.
In his closing remarks the Commissioner warmly called for unity and common action because only united we can address the big problems ahead of us.
This event in Bucharest was part of a series of Citizens' Dialogues that involve the whole European Commission and take place in all EU Member States.