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EU news
Spain takes over Presidency of the Council of the European Union
  1. Diogo Teixeira Pereira
  1. Policy & Advocacy, European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, Brussels, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Dr Diogo Teixeira Pereira, European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, Brussels, Belgium; diogo.teixeira.pereira{at}

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The Spanish Council Presidency started on 1 July and will run until 31 December 2023. Amongst its priorities are ensuring the open strategic autonomy of Europe in areas such as health and advancing the green transition and environmental adaption.

The presidencies are organised in trios to have an agreement on some overarching goals and to ensure continuity of the work between them. The Spanish presidency marks the beginning of the trio of presidencies – Spain, Belgium, and Hungary – that will work to further strengthen the EU Health Union and the resilience of health systems that are accessible to all and build preparedness for future health emergencies. The trio will continue working on antimicrobial resistance and on the accessibility of medicines that meet public health needs.

The Spanish main priorities in health are improving the protection of the vulnerable population in the EU, promoting initiatives to prepare for and respond to new health crises, and aligning the European health agenda with the 2030 agenda, and the One Health approach. Continuing the work of Sweden, cancer will be a topic on the agenda during the presidency.

Regarding policy files, Spain intends to advance the European Health Data Space discussion, due to its potential to improve the effectiveness of health and research policies. Also, the Substances on Human Origin proposal will be another dossier to be moved forward, since it will be essential to supervise the operation of the centres involved in obtaining the different substances and their use.

Another important file will be the strengthening of the financial base of the European …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.