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European Commission Representation in Cyprus
News article5 April 2024Representation in Cyprus2 min read

Statement by Commissioner Kyriakides on World Health Day

Statement by Commissioner Kyriakides on World Health Day 7 April 2024. 

“The theme for World Health Day 2024 is ¨My Health My Right”, emphasising that access to quality health care is a fundamental right.

This is the core principle that has shaped the strong European Health Union we have been building since 2020.

Over the past years, the COVID-19 pandemic irreversibly changed the world, testing our societies, our health systems, and our Union, to the limit. The EU as a whole rose to the challenge and built on this experience to emerge stronger as a Union.

Our response to the pandemic showed the power of solidarity and cooperation and the importance of delivering for all citizens, equally. The unprecedented EU Vaccine Strategy ensured that all EU citizens had access to safe and effective vaccines at the same time under the same conditions.

We saw that for a safer, healthier future for every EU citizen, we need stronger, more resilient and agile health systems prepared and equipped for the challenges of the 21stcentury.

This is a Union that reinforces EU health security, so we can be better prepared for future health threats and crises. New rules on serious cross-border health threats enshrined our cooperation in law. The European Medicines Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control have been reinforced, while the creation of the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) will enable us to do more to ensure that EU will respond robustly to health threats in the future.

Our Health Union makes our health systems stronger, putting patients at the centre. Our proposal for a historic reform of the EU's pharmaceutical legislation will ensure timely access to affordable medicines for all citizens, while supporting a thriving industry. The European Health Data Space will enable citizens, researchers and policymakers to harness the full potential of digital health data for the benefit of patients. Europe's Beating Cancer Plan is one of the world's most ambitious and comprehensive blueprints for action against cancer, backed by €4 billion in EU funding. Four years on, it is already making a real difference for millions of cancer patients, families, and carers. Our Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health has put mental and physical health on a par and is working to break the stigma for every citizen living with mental health challenges.

These actions cannot be limited to the EU's borders, and we are investing €4.4 billion to boost health in partner countries up to 2027 through the EU's Global Health Strategy, to deliver better health for people worldwide, advance universal health coverage, and support the work towards a stronger global health architecture. Good public health for every citizen is the very foundation of strong economies and societies around the world.

Recent surveys show that health remains one of the top priorities of European citizens. With the European Health Union, we now have a solid foundation to respond to their expectations in the years ahead, maximising the potential of our Member States and setting us on the path for a healthier, more resilient and more equitable future.

On this World Health Day, let us celebrate this progress and these achievements and let us continue on this path in the years to come for the benefit of everyone everywhere”.


Publication date
5 April 2024
Representation in Cyprus