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What will the new European Commission deliver in the field of health?
  1. Stephanie Kohl
  1. Policy & Advocacy, European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, Brussels 1200, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Stephanie Kohl, Policy & Advocacy, European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, Brussels 1200, Belgium; Stephanie.Kohl{at}

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The Commission of Ursula von der Leyen was supposed to start its work on 1 November 2019. However, due to the rejection of three candidate-Commissioners by Members of the European Parliament, von der Leyen’s Commission is picking up its activity with a one-month delay. Unlike some of her fellow Commissioners, Stella Kyriakides the designate for the areas health and food safety has passed her hearing in the European Parliament with flying colours.

Following Kyriakides’ hearing on 1 October, the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee of the European Parliament has voiced its agreement with the Cypriot becoming the EU’s next Commissioner responsible for Health and Food Safety. During her hearing Kyriakides touched on many points included in her mission letter. In the field of health, she plans to focus her work on:

  • the development of a European Cancer Plan;

  • taking action against the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance; and,

  • addressing the access to safe and affordable medicines with Member States.

Also medicines shortages played a role in the hearing. In relation to tackling this issue Kyriakides mentioned close collaboration with Member States and the need to find a system for the early detection of shortages. Other topics that were brought up included the engagement of civil society and mental health.

Light on healthcare workers’ knowledge and attitudes about AMR shed during EAAD 2019

On 18 November the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) hosted this year’s European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD). The 2019 edition brought together healthcare professionals from all over Europe and presented findings of a first-of-its kind survey that looked at the attitudes of healthcare professionals towards antibiotic resistance (AMR).

Overall, the findings of the study, which was carried out earlier in 2019, revealed that knowledge and awareness of AMR and related issues is generally high among healthcare professionals working in the European Union and the European …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.