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EU ministers discuss mental health

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 9.12.2022 9.10
Press release

The EU health ministers will meet in Brussels on Friday 9 December to discuss mental health, vaccine procurements and cancer screening, among others. At the meeting, Finland will be represented by Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Krista Kiuru.

The ministerial lunch debate will cover the topic of mental health. Finland has drawn attention to this topic at the EU level for years and therefore supports the preparation of an EU mental health strategy along with other measures promoting mental health, such as an action plan on mental health and a thematic year. From Finland’s perspective, it is particularly important to prevent mental health issues and share information about the promotion of mental health.

“Young people are a key target group when promoting mental health. It is vital that this work takes into account the impact which social media and the internet have on mental health,” says Minister Kiuru.

The ministers will not make any decisions during lunch debates, but their discussions will play an important role in the operation of the EU.  

Vaccine procurements and cancer screening on the agenda

The health ministers will also discuss the procurement procedure for COVID-19 vaccines. As a whole, the EU joint procurements have been successful during the pandemic. Finland is in favour of continuing EU cooperation in procuring vaccines and in ensuring access to other necessary medicines and supplies. However, national procurement procedures should also be used alongside the EU procurement procedures. 

During their meeting, the ministers also aim to adopt a new Council recommendation on cancer screening. The recommendation is meant to replace the current Council recommendation on cancer screening from 2003. The new recommendation aims to increase the number of cancer screenings and cover more target groups and cancers and focus on detecting cancers at an early stage. It also aims to improve monitoring and information sharing. Efforts would also be made to carry out more screening tests for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers, for example. Finland is prepared to accept the recommendation. At the same time, Finland also underlines the need to focus on cancer prevention, for example, on a healthy diet and on measures to reduce the use of tobacco and alcohol. 


Jenny Suominen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, tel. +358 2951 63387
Pasi Korhonen, Director of International Affairs, tel. +358 295 163 175
Email addresses are in the format [email protected]

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