European Parliament sets up new Public Health subcommittee

On 14 February,  MEPs agreed to create a new permanent subcommittee for public health matters.

Plenary set out the responsibilities and numerical strength of the new Public Health subcommittee, established under the umbrella of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

The subcommittee will comprise 30 members. It will deal with programmes and specific actions in the field of public health, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, health aspects of bioterrorism, the European Medicines Agency, and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. The ENVI committee remains responsible for examining and voting on legislative proposals.

The list of members will be announced in a subsequent plenary session.


Subcommittees may be formed at the request of an already established standing committee, in the interests of this committee’s work and subject to prior authorisation by the Conference of Presidents. The area of responsibility of the subcommittee will be clearly defined in its mandate. The term of office of a subcommittee is open-ended. Special committees, committees of inquiry and subcommittees cannot adopt legislative texts.

There are currently three other subcommittees, for Human Rights and Security and Defence, both under the EP’s Foreign Affairs Committee, and for Tax Matters, under the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.