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29 September, 2020
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Kyriakides a step closer to EU health chief

Cypriot breast cancer survivor and commissioner-designate for health advances after hearing


Commissioner-designate for Health Stella Kyriakides got on Wednesday the green light from ENVI EP Committee to move on to the next step in the procedure for her appointment.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, ENVI committee president Pascal Canfin announced that "the Environment, Health and Food Safety coordinators evaluated this morning Stella Kyriakides hearing and gave a green light insisting on the need for additional concrete measures notably on pesticides."

"Happy to work with a passionate and dedicated new commissioner," Canfin said.

Kyriakides also spoke against anti-vaccine movements, saying 'we need to fight any source of misinformation where we know there is solid science'

Kyriakides was heard in Brussels on Tuesday by the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) in coordination with the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) of the European Parliament.

The hearing was held in an effort to test the Cypriot commissioner-designate’s general competences, European commitment and specific expertise related to her portfolio.

“European citizens expect the peace of mind that comes with access to healthcare, safe food to eat, and protection against epidemics and deseases, they deserve this,” Kyriakides said in her opening remarks.

Kyriakides, a breast cancer survivor, said she had spent all her life serving public causes, including having been elected three times in the Cypriot parliament and working for many years as a clinical psychologist.

“Making a difference in the life of cancer sufferers has always been my guiding principle,” Kyriakides said.

"Europe needs to be much more"

While Europe was built to bring peace, unity and prosperity for her generation, Kyriakides said, “for our children, Europe needs to be much more,” she added.

Kyriakides also spoke against anti-vaccine movements, saying “we need to fight any source of misinformation where we know there is solid science.”

The commissioner-designate was well known for pushing for legislation to decriminalize abortion in Cyprus. Following her hearing, she is expected to get enough votes for her confirmation as incoming EU health chief.

Confirmation hearings are scheduled for October 23. If confirmed, Kyriakides would take the reins from Lithuania’s Vytenis Andriukaitis on 1 November.


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