Stella Kyriakides was immediately appointed as the new Commissioner for Health and Food Safety (taking over from Vytenis Andriukaitis) when Ursula von der Leyen took office as European Commission President on 1 December.
President von der Leyen sent a mission letter to Commissioner Kyriakides, in which she tasked her with: constantly improving the quality and sustainability of Member States’ health systems; ensuring Europe has a supply of affordable medicines; implementing a new regulatory framework on medical devices; making the most of the potential of e-health to provide high-quality healthcare and reduce inequalities; and creating a European Health Data Space to promote health-data exchange and support research on new preventive strategies, as well as on treatments, medicines, medical devices and outcomes.
Responding to the letter, Commissioner Kyriakides committed to these aims and to protecting and promoting public health as well as research and innovation. She said: “We are committed to innovation. We are committed to moving ahead and investing in research. The Horizon 2020 programme has already committed to that. So, I would definitely consider this to be a priority because moving ahead with innovation and science can only be more effective for European health.”