The health part of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) Council met on 10 December 2013 in Brussels. I represented the UK.
The presidency provided a progress report on the medical devices regulations and asked member states for an exchange of views on how to improve the supervision process for medical devices and on the reprocessing of medical devices intended for single use. Member states provided a range of opinions on these questions and the presidency and Commission thanked member states for their views. The effectiveness of market surveillance and safety of medical devices was also addressed in a lunchtime discussion.
The Council adopted the Council conclusions on the reflection process on modern, responsive and sustainable health systems.
Under any other business, the presidency provided progress reports on the clinical trials regulation, the European Medicines Agency pharmacovigilance fees regulation and the tobacco products directive.
The Commission provided information on the transposition of the cross-border health care directive and the joint procurement agreement on medical countermeasures.
The Italian delegation—supported by several other member states—raised concerns about the UK voluntary nutritional labelling system, to which I responded. I highlighted that the UK scheme is non-discriminatory and certainly does not label certain foods as “bad”, nor, being entirely voluntary, will it negatively impact on EU quality schemes. The Commission confirmed the legality of the UK scheme.