The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee questioned Stella Kyriakides, candidate for the Health portfolio on Tuesday.

Political groups’ coordinators from the committee will meet within 24 hours to assess the performance of the Cypriot Commissioner-designate.

Pesticides, endocrine disruptors topic discussed

During her introductory speech, Ms Kyriakides said that the environmental and demographic changes faced by European societies can be dealt with only through a “one health” approach, placing good health and healthy food under a single policy umbrella. Her priorities include the new “farm to fork” strategy to improve food safety, action against antimicrobial resistance, and making sure that a steady stream of affordable medicines is made available to citizens.

MEPs put forward several questions on how the commissioner-designate would act with regard to the fight against cancer, the situation on pesticides, endocrine disruptors, bee health and in finding ways to get member states’ to implement EU legislation more effectively.

Members also questioned the Commissioner-designate on the need to unlock the situation in Council on health technological assessment legislation. Later in the hearing, MEPs raised the issues of the Commission repeatedly approving GMO imports, how to protect consumers from food fraud, and the availability of oncological treatments.

EPP: Kyriakides performance was admirable

“Stella Kyriakides performed admirably during her hearing before the European Parliament this evening. She was thoroughly convincing and demonstrated her expertise, concern for patients and empathy,” said Peter Liese MEP, EPP Group Spokesperson in the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee of the European Parliament after the hearing of the Cypriot Commissioner-designate, Stella Kyriakides.

“Throughout the hearing, Kyriakides showed determination, integrity and leadership. We need to do everything we can to cure cancer. Naturally, Europe must also assume an active role in this,” commented Liese.

“I have no doubt that Stella Kyriakides will be an excellent Health Commissioner. Aside from working in the domain of health, she also has practical experience as a clinical psychologist. Her professional aptitude is undisputed, as she impressively demonstrated today,” concluded Peter Liese MEP, EPP Group Spokesperson in the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee of the European Parliament.

Based on the committees’ recommendations, the Conference of Presidents will decide on 17 October if Parliament has received sufficient information to declare the hearing process closed. If so, the plenary will vote on whether or not to elect the Commission as a whole on 23 October, in Strasbourg.

The Agriculture committee was associated to this hearing.