On 4 June 2021, the meeting of the Health, Welfare and Family Committee of the Baltic Assembly was held. During the meeting parliamentarians, high-level experts and governmental representatives discussed the cooperation of the Baltic states in the areas of food contamination and safety, use of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance as well as health care in general.
Food contamination and food safety
During the first session, Chair of the Committee Antanas Vinkus Antanas Vinkus reminded the participants that food contamination and food safety is not a new topic on the agenda of the Baltic Assembly. “For years we have closely followed the developments in the EU Farm to Fork Strategy that aims for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system,” said Vinkus. He also added that food contamination and safety issues surely do not respect borders, therefore, cooperation of the Baltic states in this area is of great importance. Representative of the European Food Safety Authority Victoria Villamar informed the parliamentarians about the current work of the institution, including developing food safety policies and legislation, adopting regulations, authorising the marketing of new products and enforcing food safety legislation, and the plans for the future.
Use of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance
The second session of the meeting was dedicated to the use of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance in the Baltic states. During this meeting, it was established that this is an emerging public health danger not only in the Baltic states but all around the world. “We all have heard that antibiotic resistance is believed to be one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development nowadays. It is important to cooperate in the area of antimicrobial resistance because also this issue does not respect borders,” explained the Chair of the Committee.
Health care cooperation
During the third session, the health care cooperation of the Baltic states was discussed. Parliamentarians were informed about the developments regarding joint Baltic procurements in health care and highlighted that mental health in the Baltic states should be on the agenda of the future work of the Baltic Assembly.
After this meeting recommendations of the Baltic Assembly will be prepared and adopted during the Session of the Baltic Assembly on 4-5 November 2021 in Vilnius, Lithuania.