In the spotlight: Elections to the European Parliament 22 – 25 May
The upcoming elections for the new European Parliament will allow citizens to vote for representatives who can pave the way for better health in Europe through a healthier environment.
Members of the European Parliament are the elected representatives of Europe’s citizens and play a leading role in making a healthy planet for healthy people a reality. In the last years, the European Parliament has led the way for the prevention of heart, lung and other diseases in its role as a co-legislator on EU environmental policy. HEAL urges the new MEPs to push for more ambitious and stronger policies in the field of environmental health.
As part of the Green10, a coalition of the ten leading environmental organisations in the EU, representing over 20 million Europeans, HEAL has launched a joint manifesto to spell out ten ways in which parliamentarians can be a driver for sustainable change. In the manifesto, organisations underline that not enough has been done to put Europe on an environmentally sustainable path. Smarter and more sustainable policies will help Europe create new jobs, regain competitiveness, address the climate crisis and improve the quality of life within the limits of our planet.
HEAL and the Green10 urge the Parliament to adopt for example, measures to reduce the use of pesticides and to decrease exposure to endocrine disruptors which increase rates of chronic diseases including breast cancer, diabetes and infertility problems.
The Parliament should also take the lead on limiting air pollution by adopting ambitious and binding air pollutions ceilings set for 2020 and 2025, and cutting down on air pollution from major sources. This would improve the quality of the air we breathe and bring down cancer and respiratory disease rates.
Other asks include a call for opposing any new free trade deals that jeopardise strong social and environmental standards; ensuring the EU adopts ambitious and binding targets for renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions cut for better health and the environment and; guaranteeing the right to information, participation and justice for European citizens.
You can read the full manifesto here http://www.green10.org/publications/
HEAL members are also active in calling on the new European Parliament for a healthier environment for its citizens. The European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Association (EFA) for example, calls on MEP candidates to commit themselves to three priorities in the area of health. One of these includes investing in prevention through EU policies to reduce indoor and outdoor pollution and exposure to harmful chemicals. More information here.
The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) is calling on political parties and individual MEP candidates to ensure that health and well-being in Europe are ranked as high as they are valued. Manifesto available here.
Originally posted on 14 May 2014