Designing the future European Health Union? Scaling-up Ambitions, Powering Resilience

Wednesday 18 November 2020, 16:45 - 19:00

Designing the future European Health Union? Scaling-up Ambitions, Powering Resilience” – this is the title of the Health Symposium organised (18 November, 16:45 – 19:00) by the Institute for Competitiveness (I-Com).

The event provided an open and transparent forum to debate on two key priorities on the EU health agenda, which the Commission is about to outline by the end of the year, the Cancer Plan and the pharmaceutical strategy. The Symposium was also an opportunity to take stock of the proposal for a strengthened European Health Union, announced by Ursula von der Leyen in her first SOTEU address and detailed in the package of initiatives presented last week by the Commission as a long-term response to the critical issues emerging during the Covid-19 crisis.

The Symposium gave the floor to 15 high-level speakers, including representatives from EU and national institutions, companies, research, business and patient organisations, and brought more than 100 stakeholders from Brussels and the Member States.

Among the speakers, there were: Walter Ricciardi, Chair of the Horizon Europe Mission Board for Cancer, MEP Tomislav Sokol, Member the Special Committee on Beating Cancer. Other speakers include: DG SANTE’s Sylvain Giraud, EMA’s Tony Humphreys, WHO’s Sarah Garner, Johnson & Johnson’s Anouk De Vroey, ECPC’s Antonella Cardone, EFPIA’s Elizabeth Kuiper, ESMO’s Rosa Giuliani. MEPs Dolors Montserrat, Co-Chair of the ENVI Committee’s Health Working Group and Patrizia Toia, Vice-Chair ITRE Committee, sent a written contribution to the discussion.

 I-Com presented a paper to contribute to shaping the discussion and was represented by Stefano da Empoli, President, Eleonora Mazzoni, Head of Innovation Area, and Mattia Ceracchi, Head of EU Affairs.

This symposium represented a milestone of I-Com 2020 Brussels initiative “PEOPLE, PLANET, PROGRESS”, which aims at monitoring the political priorities of the new European Commission and influencing the EU public debate in line with the recommendations outlined in the I-Com Blueprint “Innovative Europe: The Way Forward. Taking Stock and Thinking Ahead” (February 2020).

I-Com Paper
I-Com Paper_Short Version
I-Com Presentation
D. Montserrat Message Closing Remarks
P. Toia Message Closing Remarks
Press Release Health Symposium
Output Report Health Symposium

Confirmed speakers:

[tp no_translate]Antonella CARDONE
Director of European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC)[/tp]


[tp no_translate]Antonella Cardone is the Director of the European Cancer Patient Coalition, which is the largest cancer patient umbrella organization in Europe with over 450 members from 49 countries. She has over twenty years of international activity in health, social and employment sectors. Prior to ECPC, Antonella was the Executive Director of the Fit for Work Global Alliance, a multi-stakeholder coalition championing change in health and work policy. She was previously Director of the Global Smokefree Partnership of the American Cancer Society, leading a movement of over 100 members to coordinate the development of smokefree laws in 40 countries. She holds a Master’s in Science and one in Business Administration. She currently represents ECPC on the Board of Pancreatic Cancer Europe.[/tp]

[tp no_translate]Stefano DA EMPOLI
President I-Com – the Institute for Competitiveness[/tp]


[tp no_translate]Stefano da Empoli is the President and principal policy analyst at I-Com (Institute for Competitiveness), a think tank based in Rome and Brussels. He also adjunct professor of Economics at Roma Tre University. He is a member of the Italian Government High-level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence and the European AI Alliance. Stefano published many essays and articles on digital issues, such as artificial intelligence, innovation policy, broadband, 5G, cloud computing, digital platforms. His latest book is “Artificial intelligence: last call”, published by Bocconi University Press in 2019. He has also undertaken study and consultancy assignments for Italian and international public institutions, including the Senate of the Republic, the Department for EU Affairs, OECD, leading companies and non-profit organizations.[/tp]

[tp no_translate] Anouk DE VROEY
Senior Director, Government Affairs & Policy EMEA, Johnson & Johnson[/tp]


[tp no_translate]Anouk leads the EMEA Government Affairs & Policy team for the Janssen pharmaceuticals division of Johnson & Johnson. She is a member of the Janssen EMEA Leadership Team and also leads the Janssen External Affairs Council, driving the way the Company responds to the external environment. Anouk advocates for policies across EMEA that can ensure optimal access to care for patients, and is also involved in several platforms that support a climate of biopharmaceutical innovation. Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Anouk was European Lead of the Global Policy, Advocacy & Government Affairs department at Bristol-Myers Squibb. At BMS, Anouk drove several innovative partnership projects in oncology, HCV, atrial fibrillation and other areas, building alliances with policymakers, patient advocates, and medical thought-leaders. Her main aim through all these projects was increasing speed of access to medicines for patients. Anouk was co-author of a publication entitled “Regulation 2000”, which made practical recommendations to streamline European marketing authorisation procedures. During her 25-year career, she has been involved in initiatives to speed up such procedures at both the EU Commission and the European Federation of the pharmaceutical industry. Anouk holds a post-graduate Master’s degree from the University of Lille, France – specialising in EU pharmaceutical legislation and policy – and a Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Brussels, Belgium.[/tp]

[tp no_translate] Sarah GARNER
Acting Programme Manager for Access to Medicines and Health Products, WHO Regional Office for Europe[/tp]


[tp no_translate] Sarah Garner PhD, BPharm is currently the Acting Programme-Manager of the Health Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Programme, WHO Regional Office for Europe. She is responsible for the strategic planning and delivery of strategies to improve patient Access, including health systems strengthening, regulation, HTA, pricing and procurement. Sarah is a pharmacist specializing in innovation, with previous global work focusing on development strategies and the interface between Health Technology Assessment (HTA), regulation and payers. Sarah is an honorary professor at University College London and Manchester Universities with over 90 publications in peer reviewed journals. Her previous roles have included the Coordinator for the ‘Innovation, Access and Use’ Team in the Essential Medicines and Health Products Department at WHO HQ and the Associate Director for Science Policy and Research at the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and Pharmacist Lead for the UK Government’s Special Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance. Sarah has led policy work-packages of public private research partnerships funded by the EU Innovative Medicines Initiative (GetReal, ADAPTSMART and Big Data for Better Outcomes) which have developed policy proposals for the adaptive pathways and use of real-word data in pharmaceutical development, regulatory and HTA decision making. In 2010-11 Sarah was a Harkness Fellow in Healthcare Policy and Practice in the United States. Her research examined the impact of comparative effectiveness research and Health Technology Assessment on pharmaceutical and MedTech innovation.[/tp]

[tp no_translate]Sylvain GIRAUD
Head of Unit, Medical products: quality, safety and innovation, DG SANTE, European Commission[/tp]


[tp no_translate]Sylvain Giraud is the Head of Unit “Medical products: quality, safety and innovation” in the Directorate General for Health and Food Safety of the European Commission (DG SANTE). He was appointed to this position in early 2020. The unit is in charge of EU level policy developments on quality, accessibility, availability and affordability of medicines and supervises important aspects of the implementation of EU legislation and the coordination of international cooperation on medicines policy. In previous Head of Unit positions, since 2011, Sylvain has been dealing with Health Systems and before on global health and health policy coordination. He joined the Commission in 2002.[/tp]

[tp no_translate]Rosa GIULIANI
Director of Public Policy, European Society for Medical Oncology – ESMO[/tp]


[tp no_translate] Dr Giuliani is a consultant in medical oncology currently working at the Christie Foundation Trust in Manchester UK, where she is also overseeing the development of the bisphosonoate service for patient with early breast cancer. Her main interests are breast cancer and clinical and regulatory development of innovative drugs. Dr Giuliani worked at the European Medicine Agency, EMA, as National Expert on secondment (2011-12) and she continues the collaboration with EMA as core member of the EMA Scientific Advisory Group in Oncology (SAG-O) since April 2012. She is member of the ESMO European Policy Committee and on behalf of ESMO she joined the EMA Healthcare Professional Working Party (HCPWP) and the stakeholder forum of the Health Technology Assessment Network (HTAN) coordinated by the European Commission.
Dr Giuliani is currently Director of Public Policy of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and Chair of the ESMO Global Policy Committee and is a Member of the ESMO Executive Board and ESMO Council. Dr Giuliani is the author of peer reviewed articles and she regularly lectures at international meetings.[/tp]

[tp no_translate]Tony HUMPHREYS
Head of the Regulatory Science and Innovation Task Force, European Medicines Agency (EMA)[/tp]


[tp no_translate]Tony Humphreys is the Head Regulatory Science and Innovation Taskforce (TRS). He is responsible for providing leadership in the taskforce and the Agency to enable its continuous futureproofing through operation of a regulatory science observatory, addressing key scientific and technological trends and their translation through the development of regulatory science strategy, planning and governance.[/tp]

[tp no_translate]Elizabeth KUIPER
Executive Director Public Affairs EFPIA, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations[/tp]


[tp no_translate]Elizabeth Kuiper is currently Executive Director for Public Affairs at EFPIA, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. In this role, she leads the advocacy and public affairs of EFPIA and maintains a strong network of contacts with policymakers and other stakeholders. She reports directly to EFPIA’s Director-General and works together closely with the other EFPIA directors active on the Brussels scene. Elizabeth previously worked as attaché at the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands to the EU, where she represented the Netherlands in EU negotiations in the field of health, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Prior to this, Elizabeth worked as political adviser to the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sports in the Dutch cabinet Balkenende-IV, delivering special advice and support on healthcare policy related subjects. This was subsequent to her job at the Dutch Society of Surgeons. Elizabeth studied at the University of Utrecht and holds an MA in Dutch language and literature. A Dutch national, she is fluent in English, French, and German.[/tp]

[tp no_translate]Yann LE CAM
Chief Executive Officer, Eurordis – European Organisation for Rare Diseases[/tp]


[tp no_translate]Yann Le Cam was one of the founders of EURORDIS-Rare Diseases Europe in 1997 and has been the organisation’s Chief Executive Officer since 2000. He is a patient advocate who has dedicated over 30 years of professional and personal commitment to health and medical research NGOs in France, Europe and the United States in the fields of cancer, HIV/AIDS and rare diseases. Yann initiated Rare Diseases International (RDI) in 2009, for which he is an elected member of the Council and Chair of the RDI Advocacy Committee. He was a founding member of the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases (United Nations, New York) in 2014 and is its vice-chair. Yann is a co-chair of the Global Commission to End the Diagnostic Odyssey of Children with Rare Diseases since its launch in 2018. Yann is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Health Stewards Board from 2020 and of its Global Precision Medicine Council since 2019. Yann was a frontline advocate for the adoption of European regulations that impact the lives of rare disease patients, including the EU regulations on orphan medicinal products (1999), paediatric use of medicines (2006), and advanced therapies (2007). He promoted the Commission Communication on Rare Diseases (2008), the Council Recommendation on Actions on Rare Diseases (2009) and the Directive on Cross-Border HealthCare (2011).[/tp]

[tp no_translate]Eleonora MAZZONI
Head of Innovation Area, I-Com[/tp]


[tp no_translate]Graduated in economics at the University of Rome – La Sapienza, with a thesis on statistical breakdown of the wage differential between foreign and Italian citizens. After a collaboration as a research assistant with the Fondazione Brodolini, she worked for the Centro Europa Ricerche. She studied the main econometric techniques for evaluation of public intervention at the IRVAPP di Trento and at the summer school in Econometrics Cide – Bank of Italy. She is currently employed at I-Com as a research fellow. She carries out statistical analyses, economic and regulatory researches for the innovation and energy areas.[/tp]

[tp no_translate]Dolors MONTSERRAT
MEP, Co-Chair of the Health Working Group, ENVI Committee [/tp]


[tp no_translate]Dolors Montserrat (EPP) is currently a member of the European Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), Co-Chair of the Challenge Cancer Intergroup and joined the Special Committee on Beating Cancer, in 2020. Previously, she served as the Spanish Minister of Health, Social Services and Equality from 2016 to 2018. She has served as Minister of Health, Social Services and Equality from 2016 to 2018. She was third Vice President of the Bureau of the Congress of Deputies in the X Legislature Deputy for Barcelona in the Congress of the IX, X, XI and XII legislatures and Councillor and spokesperson of the PP Group in the City Hall of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia from 2003 to 2015. Practicing Lawyer from 1997 to 2011, specialized in civil, property and family law, she attended the C.O.U in the United States (Memphis, Tennessee). She has a postgraduate in Urban and Real Estate Law taught by Pompeu Fabra University and in Family Mediation and contractual negotiation taught by the University of Barcelona.[/tp]

[tp no_translate]Walter RICCIARDI
Chair of the Horizon Europe Mission Board for Cancer[/tp]


[tp no_translate]Professor of Hygiene and Public Health at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome. Scientific Advisor to the Italian Minister of Health for the coronavirus pandemia. Scientific Director of Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri. President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA). President of Mission Board for Cancer of European Commission. Coordinator of the Scientific Advisory Board of Human Technopole Foundation. Principal Investigator of EC Grant “TO REACH” the first health services and health systems research programme funded by European Commission (since 2016). Italian Representative in the Executive Board of World Health Organisation (November 2017-May 2020). Head of Department of Woman and Child Health and Public Health of Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS – Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (from January to December 2019). Former President of Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italian National Institute of Health) (2015-2018) and its Commissioner from July 2014 to July 2015. Member of the Expert Panel on effective ways of investing in Health (European Commission, DG – SANTE) for two three-year mandates (2013-2019). President elect of European Public Health Association (EUPHA) (2010-2014); since 2014 he is Past President of EUPHA. Member of the III Sezione del Consiglio Superiore di Sanità, Ministry of Health (December 2009 – July 2010) and its President (December 2010 – July 2014). He manages several undergraduate and postgraduate teaching activities. Editor of European Journal of Public Health, of Oxford Handbook of Public Health Practice and Founding Editor of Italian Journal of Public Health and of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Public Health. “Laurea Honoris Causa” at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, USA (2019). Appointed “Commendatore” of the Italian Republic by Decree of the President of the Republic 02 June 2017. [/tp]

[tp no_translate]Tomislav SOKOL
MEP, Member of the Special Committee on Beating Cancer, EPP Group [/tp]


[tp no_translate]Tomislav Sokol has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2019. He has since been serving on the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection. He is a member of the MEPs Against Cancer group. In 2017, he held the position of Assistant Minister at the Ministry of Science and Education. From September 2017 to July 2019, he was a MP in the Croatian Parliament. Previously, he worked in a legal practice and is currently a Senior Lecturer at Zagreb School of Economics and Management where he has taught Introduction to European Union and Principles of Law courses since the academic year 2010/2011. He is also an assistant professor at Catholic University of Croatia where he is teaching Health Law. His areas of professional interest include the law of the European common market, EU health law, competition law, international and European social law and international and European trade law.[/tp]

[tp no_translate]Patrizia TOIA
MEP, Vice-Chair ITRE Committee[/tp]


[tp no_translate]Patrizia Toia worked as Director of the Planning Service at Lombardy Region. She served as regional councillor, Member of the Chamber of Deputies and of the Italian Senate as well as Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Minister for European Affairs and for Relations with Parliament. In 2004 she was elected at the European Parliament. Member of the S&D Group, she is Vice-Chair of the ITRE Committee. Patrizia Toia was born in Pogliano Milanese (Milan); she is graduated in Political Science at the University of Milan. She worked as Director of the Planning Service at Lombardy Region. She was regional councillor in Lombardy, with different responsibilities (Health, Budget). She was Member of the Chamber of Deputies and in 1996 she was elected at the Senate of the Republic. She held various institutional positions: Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs with responsibility for Latin America, Asia and Oceania, Relations with the United Nations, Human Rights, Migration and Italians abroad, in 1999 she was appointed Minister for European Affairs and Minister for Relations with Parliament. In 2004 she was elected at the European Parliament, confirmed in 2009, 2014 and 2019 Member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), she is Vice-Chair of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. She is also substitute member of the Committee on Development and in Committee on Transport.[/tp]

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