Vytenis Andriukaitis address to closing plenary session of the European Health Parliament 15, June 2021

Vytenis Andriukaitis thoughts on the intersection of youth, healthcare and policy in Europe.

My dear young European Health leaders, like-minded friends.

It is a big honour for me to be invited to make a welcome speech at your fireside chat.

The sixth edition of the EHP “Recover, Reinvest, Reinvent: Shaping a European Health Union“ is a very timely initiative. Fifteen months after the first COVID19 cases appeared in the EU, with most of the countries still going through strong restrictions of our social life, the population of Europe is showing a big interest related to the European future and to the possibilities to find new ideas about Health issues in the EU.

Now the Health topic is not the Cinderella, but the leading issue in all high-level events. Covid19 is an awakening call for many. European citizens are demanding stronger health policy and more coordinated actions for Health. Ongoing discussions on European Health Union are interrelated with the pan-European solutions of telemedicine and patient-centred care, European Health Data cooperation, and many more topics.

But the general question is now a very simple one — are we all ready to build a stronger European Health Union (EHU) with the clear political will to amend the Lisbon treaty and to build genuine EHU.

And without a strong young Leaders voice we have no chance to reinvent and renew our European Union.

From my point of view the Conference on the Future of Europe is the best place where youth initiatives can show leadership. Your energy, knowledge, and enthusiasm can help us to shape health policy in the EU. Your innovative and disruptive ideas to address Europe’s more pressing health issues as never before should be heard on the top of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Please promote the European Health Manifesto, please try to encourage our citizens to participate in our debates about the necessity to build a genuine EHU. It is now your time, my young European Health leaders! Let us be brave, let us renew our European Union. And let us start with a new pillar of the EU – a pillar of Health and well-being Union.