Campaigning on an EU Mental Health Strategy: Written Questions to the Commission
In April, the co-chairs of the MEP Alliance for Mental Health tabled a Written Question to the Commission, with a view to exploring the state of play with respect to a comprehensive EU Mental Health Strategy. The WQ refers to the Finnish Presidency Council conclusions (October 2019), as well of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) Council (December 2019), which invite the Commission to propose such a Strategy.
The Commission’s answer was disappointing; it refers to the fact that mental health is a priority topic for the exchange of best practice, as recommended by the Steering Group on Promotion and Prevention and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases. The answer also highlights the Commission’s intention to address mental health within the upcoming Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and the dedicated space on mental health, set up within the EU Health Policy Platform to support efforts and facilitate practice and knowledge exchange on the mental health aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Though these actions are of course welcome, there is no reference to the development of an EU Strategy, despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly put the spotlight on the importance of mental health and the need for cooperation between member states in this respect. The need for a comprehensive strategy has never been more apparent.
Therefore, the co-chairs have tabled a follow-up WQ, asking the Commission what the impetus would be to inspire the development of such a comprehensive strategy, which clearly has the support of the member states.
For the first WQ and answer click here.