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Announcement – Informal Meeting of Ministers for Health (Brdo pri Kranju, 17-18 April 2008)

As part of Slovenia's Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia will host an Informal Meeting of Ministers for Health at Brdo pri Kranju on 17-18 April 2008.

On Thursday 17 April 2008, the central topic of the meeting will be reduction of the burden of cancer. The ministers' discussion will focus in particular on the areas and activities where, in their opinion, Community support affords the most significant added value. The ministers will also discuss the key elements of preventing and controlling cancer.

Among Slovenia's Presidency priorities, specific emphasis is also placed on implementing the EU strategy to support Member States in reducing alcohol-related harm. In this context, in the next part of the afternoon session, a presentation will be given on the key messages of the third European Conference on Alcohol aimed at strengthening capacity building at European, national, regional and local level with a view to effectively implementing programmes and policies to reduce alcohol-related harm.

Before the meeting, which will be closed to the public, there will be an informal press briefing with the Director of the Public Health Directorate, Ms Marija Selak, at 12.15 p.m. After the meeting, at 3.10 p.m., the Slovenian Minister of Health, Zofija Mazej Kukovič, and the European Commissioner for Health, Androulla Vassiliou, will give statements to the press.

The second day of the meeting, 18 April 2008, will be devoted to an exchange of opinions between the ministers on ways to ensure a systematic approach to setting priorities and monitoring the achievement of objectives under the European Union's first comprehensive health strategy in the field of public health and health care. The ministers will also discuss antimicrobial resistance. Excessive use of antibiotics has accelerated the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and other micro-organisms, which is why we are today faced with the problem that certain conventional treatments have lost their efficacy.

After the ministerial meeting, a press release from the Slovenian Minister of Health, Zofija Mazej Kukovič, and the European Commissioner for Health, Androulla Vassiliou, is scheduled for 1.00 p.m.

Journalists will have access to the Press centre. Further information on the Press centre and other information regarding the organisation of the event will be available on the website You can receive your accreditations at the venue on the day of the conference.


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Date: 11.04.2008