European Health Committee (CDSP)
The Committee of Ministers set
up the European Health Committee in 1954 to encourage closer European
co-operation on the promotion of health. Its idealist aim was to create
conditions which would safeguard and improve the health of European citizens.
The CDSP bases its strategy on an integrated approach of medical developments on the one hand and values of the individual (legal, ethical, social) on the other. Its activities are aimed at the democratisation and humanisation of health services. The CDSP contributes to the implementation of the 3rd Summit of Heads of State and Government (Warsaw) which considers the protection of health as a social human right and an essential condition for social cohesion and economic stability.
Recommendations are approved by the CDSP on the basis of work carried out by expert committees for the Committee of Ministers (decision-making body of the Council of Europe) to adopt. These policy guidelines are not binding in a strict legal sense but can serve as a vehicle for change in member states.
Past activities governed by the CDSP include work on organ transplantation and blood transfusion which are now in the domain of the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and HealthCare. Many thematic areas have been covered by past expert committees, including in good governance, health policy development and promotion, mental health, palliative care, the patients' role and vulnerable groups.
Membership of the CDSP
The members of the CDSP are appointed by the governments of all the member states, and are senior public health officials or specialists in the field.
The CDSP elects ten members to sit on the Bureau for a term of office of two years. The chairperson is elected by the plenary committee from amongst the Bureau members for one year, renewable once.
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe, the European Commission and the European Council may each be represented in meetings without the right to vote. Other states and organisations who have been granted observer status by the Committee of Ministers may be invited to send representatives as observers without voting rights. Canada, the Holy See, Japan, Mexico, the United States of America, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as well as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have observer status.
Terms of reference of the CDSP
The CDSP is instructed to:
i. contribute to the strengthening of social cohesion by promoting
equitable access to health care services, including prevention, that are
safe and of appropriate quality;