Thursday, 18 December 2003
Dáil Eireann Debate
160. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health and Children the meetings of his EU counterparts at which he will preside during the Irish Presidency; the matters to be addressed and concluded upon; his priorities in this regard; the venues for the meetings; the projected cost of each; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31930/03]
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): During the Irish Presidency there will be two formal meetings of the Employment Social Policy Health and Consumer Affairs Council and one consultative meeting of health ministers.
My Department and I have identified a number of key themes to focus on during the Presidency. Matters to be progressed in the health area may further evolve in the context of the ongoing work at EU level. However, the following matters have been identified for discussion: the Irish Presidency themes of cardiovascular disease prevention and electronic health, focusing on the area of public health and the practical application of methodologies in the area; health claims for foods and food fortification; patient mobility within the EU; a European centre for disease prevention and control; and EU childhood asthma research.
The two formal meetings are part of the Council programme. They will be held in Brussels and Luxembourg, respectively, with a net cost to my Department of approximately €2,500 per meeting. The Health Ministers consultative meeting will be held in Cork. The projected outlay for my Department for organising it is estimated at €160,000.
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