The Interest Group on Equitable Access to Healthcare is co-chaired by six Members of the European Parliament:
Andrey KOVATCHEVEPP, Bulgaria
Kateřina KonečnáGUE/NGL, Czech Republic
Petra De SutterGreens-EFA, Belgium
Sara CerdasS&D, Portugal
Tiemo WölkenS&D, Germany
Tomislav SokolEPP, Croatia
Member of the group of the European People′s Party (Christian Democrats), European Parliament
Dr. Andrey Kovatchev is a Member of the Presidency of the European Parliament as well as the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Delegation for Relations with the US. He is a substitute member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the Delegation to the EU-Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee. Since 2011 he is the Vice-President of the Union of European Federalists and is also president of the Bulgarian section of the organization. In the current term Dr. Kovatchev initiated an informal interest Group on Access to Healthcare in the European Parliament that provides a forum for action and debate on equal access to healthcare and ensures that the issue features on the EU policy agenda.
Prior to his election to the European Parliament in 2009, he was Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Policy and European Affairs and Vice-International Secretary of political party GERB. He has also held the position of Regional Director with Elsevier BV, Terriotory Manager with John Deere International GmbH and Sales Director Bulgaria for Tetra Laval Group. He earned a degree from the University of Saarland Germany and holds a PhD in Natural Sciences.
Kateřina Konečná, Member of the European Parliament. In year 2009 she successfully graduated from Masaryk University and received an engineer’s degree in the Public Administration field. She also has a bachelor’s degree from the Masaryk University, Faculty of Law.
Her interest in the world surrounding us brought her to politics and resulted in her candidacy to the Chamber of Deputies in 2002. As the youngest member of the Chamber of Deputies she became a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. A number of draft legislations and questions to the government that she submitted came from citizens’ initiatives.
Furthermore, she cooperates very closely with Trade Union Association of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia and in 2007 she has started to work very intensively with young people. She became a member of the Environment Committee after the elections to the Chamber of Deputies in 2006. She has seen the urgent need to come up with laws that improve the environment in Moravian-Silesian region, which has long suffered especially from poor air quality.
She became a shadow minister for the environment in the Communist Party. She led the list of Communist candidates for elections in May 2010. After her re-election she continued the promotion of practical and effective protection of the environment that will help people and will not take their jobs. Working in environmental politics very often means coping with ignorance of environmental protection of right-wing parties on one side and enthusiasm and a little bit of impracticality of green activists on the other side. The Environmental Protection Policy brought her to solving problems with Šumava National Park and also with the Waste Act.
She also led the list of Communist candidates in the elections to the European Parliament in May 2014. Now, as a member of the European Parliament, she would like to continue to engage in the Environmental Protection Policy as a member of the ENVI Committee. During time she is MEP she is also focusing on the topic of the Access to Healthcare and she is dealing with public health issues. She is also supporting the development of the Patients academy project. People deserve to have representatives in the European Parliament that will defend their interests.
Other initiatives of her:
– Project: Patient academy (Akademie pacietských organizací – APO): www.pacientskaakademie.cz
– Co-chair of the European Parliament Working Group on innovation, access to medicines and poverty-related diseases https://www.facebook.com/EPWGACCESS2MEDICINES?fref=ts
Petra De Sutter
Prof. Petra De Sutter is a Belgian Member of the European Parliament for the Flemish Green party. She is a professor in gynaecology at Ghent University (Belgium), specialized in infertility treatments. De Sutter is chair of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and a substitute member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) and the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). She is also a member of Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA).
Before joining the European Parliament, De Sutter was a member of the Belgian senate and a member of the Belgian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from 2014 until 2019.Throughout her political career, De Sutter has been striving for a healthy environment, safe products and a socially just society.
Sara Cerdas is a 31-years-old, Portuguese medical doctor and since July of 2019 a Member of European Parliament. She is member on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and substitute member on the Committee on Transport and Tourism. She is also member on the Special Committee on Beating Cancer and the S&D shadow rapporteur for the EU4Health Programme.
Sara Cerdas is co-chair in the European Parliament’s Working Group on Health, which brings to discussion European health issues with stakeholders and experts.
She holds a master’s degree in Medicine from the University of Lisbon, a postgraduate degree in traveler’s medicine from Universidade Nova de Lisboa, a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Umeå and is a doctoral student in Public Health Sciences from the University of Stockholm.
During her career, she had work in the Epidemiology Department of Portuguese Health National Institute (Instituto Nacional de Saúde Doutor Ricardo Jorge) and in The Public Health Emergency Centre of the Portuguese Directorate-General of Health, having an active participation in tackling regional and national outbreaks.
She had representative positions in the health field, such as the International Federation of Medical Students ‘Associations, International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations and Students Association of the Faculty of Medicine of Lisbon.
Tiemo Wölken is a young politician from northern Germany. He has been active in local politics since 2003 in his home region and holds a LL.M. in International Law from the University of Hull, England. Since 2016, he is a lawyer in addition to being a Member of the European Parliament.
Tiemo is the S&D Coordinator in the Committee on legal affairs and a Member of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. In addition, he is the health spokesperson of the German S&D Delegation, the Vice Chair of the MEP AMR Interest Group and Co-Chair of the MEP working group on innovation, access to medicines and poverty-related diseases.
Tiemo’s areas of expertise are environmental issues, healthcare, legal affairs, and all things digital – from eHealth to tackling geoblocking.
Tomislav Sokol was born in Zagreb in 1982. He obtained his initial degree in law at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Law in 2006, magna cum laude. He obtained an LL.M. degree at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) in Belgium, with a specialisation in European Union Law in 2009, magna cum laude. He defended his Ph.D. at KUL, dealing with free movement of cross-border health care services in the EU and its impact on national health insurance systems in 2014.
During his studies, in 2004, Tomislav Sokol became a member of Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ). He rose through the party ranks during the next decade, always emphasising Christian Democratic values as the cornerstone of its identity. He was an Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Science and Education, after which he became a Member of Croatian Parliament. He was a Member of Croatian Parliament until July 2019 when he became a Member of European Parliament. He sits on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and Regional Development Committees.
He has so far published numerous papers and one book on the issues concerning EU law, including health law, health policies and patient mobility. He has presented papers in many international conferences, worked on different research projects and is currently taking part in a Jean Monnet project related to EU health law and policy. Previously, he worked in a legal practice and is currently a Senior Lecturer at Zagreb School of Economics and Management where he has taught Introduction to European Union and Principles of Law courses since the academic year 2010/2011. He is also an assistant professor at Catholic University of Croatia where he is teaching Health Law. In 2017, he held the position of Assistant Minister at the Ministry of Science and Education. From September 2017 to July 2019, he was a MP in the Croatian Parliament. He was elected to the European Parliament on 25 May 2019. In the European Parliament, he is a member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, substitute in the Committee on Regional Development and Special Committee on beating cancer. His areas of professional interest include the law of the European common market, EU health law, competition law, international and European social law and international and European trade law. He has been married to Ana since 2018.