Robert Madelin, Director General of the European Commission’s DG SANCO, discusses in his latest interview with EUFIC, the implications of the EU White Paper on Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity related health issues and what can be expected in the months ahead.
The EU Platform: from experiment to endorsed tool
This is the first time that a multi-stakeholder initiative has been endorsed by the College of Commissioners as a legitimate tool in the legislative toolbox. The experimental phase is clearly over and expectations are high for the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity & Health.
Mr. Madelin hopes that the Commission’s decision will be endorsed by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers later on this year. Furthermore, in the current era of “better regulation”, where such initiatives are being observed carefully, he hopes that the Platform concept will be adopted by colleagues both at national and European levels. He qualifies by explaining “when something fails at European level, it is because there were too few allies in the beginning The Platform builds a big alliance to solve real problems”. It is an initiative that Mr. Madelin hopes will “go on and on”.
Seriously committed to enjoying physical activity
To mark the Commission’s commitment to physical activity and the publication of the Sport for All White Paper, an advertising campaign has been launched in conjunction with UEFA and several broadcast and advertising partners to encourage viewers not just to watch, but to get active in sport.
By their very nature, grass root sports organisations are not well represented at European level but through improved representation at the EU Platform, Mr. Madelin hopes that the imbalance of energy-out organisations can be readdressed and more initiatives of a similar nature will be implemented.
Member State call to action: salt reduction a good place to start
The one lasting message that Mr. Madelin has is the need for Member State commitments to action. It is the “clear priority” in the White Paper and the Commission is committed to do what it can to facilitate sharing best practices. He notes the success of salt reduction campaigns in some countries and the absence of similar activities in others and invites colleagues to do something about it.
EU White Paper on Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity related health issues available here
UEFA advertising campaign, available here
Biography of Robert Madelin
Robert Madelin became Director-General for Health and Consumer Protection in January 2004. He has overall responsibility for the day-to-day running of the work of the Directorate-General in its three main areas: public health, food safety and consumer protection.
He previously served in a variety of postings (1997-2003) as a Director in the Directorate-General for Trade, where he had the chance to work on a range of issues, including: access to medicines, agriculture, biotechnology, corporate responsibility, food and product standards, global governance, intellectual property, investment, services, sustainable development, and relations with the Asia-Pacific.
Prior to this, he was Deputy Head of Cabinet to Sir Leon (now Lord) Brittan, European Commission Vice-President.
Robert Madelin was born in 1957. He married Marie-Christine Jalabert in 1990. He was educated in England, at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, and at Magdalen College, Oxford. He joined the British Civil Service in 1979, serving mainly in London and Brussels and joined the Commission in 1993. He studied at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration, Paris in 1983-4.